Though his demeanor was lighthearted when he sat down at the podium Luol Deng made it clear that the fact that he’s in a contract year wouldn’t be a distraction for him or the Bulls this season.

“I’m going to try not to talk about it and I’m going to try and do it in a nice way. I’ll try not to be rude. But honestly I would rather not talk about it. I would rather play" the All-Star small forward said Friday at the Berto Center. "It is a situation where you sign a contract and it ends. I’m in my last year so I’ve just got to go out there and do what I’ve been doing play basketball.

“We’ve got a great opportunity ahead of us. Derrick is back everybody is healthy we love the make-up of the team we know our potential is great so I just have to focus on us as a team and how good we can be and I think everything will take care of itself. I know it’s going to come up here and there there is always individual stuff but honestly I just want to put all my attention into the team and then see what happens after that.”

CSNChicago.com first reported that Deng’s representatives and the Bulls’ front office had broken off contract negotiations for a long-term extension. The 2013-14 season is the final year of Deng’s current deal and his camp has stated that he will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Bulls general manager Gar Forman diplomatically addressed the matter at Friday’s media day though he indicated that the team wouldn’t look to deal Deng this season preferring to keep him around for a potential title push instead of attempting a swap before the league’s February trade deadline.