Wearing an unfamiliar No. 8 on his practice jersey, made even stranger by the fact it said Cavaliers on it, Luol Deng wanted to make two things clear Wednesday. He’s not bitter. And despite reports, he never asked for $15 million a year from the Bulls, who traded Deng to Cleveland on Monday in a financial move to create flexibility for the future. “My thing is in the summer, I never came with a number,” Deng told the Tribune. “I heard on the radio that I asked for 15 (million). I would never ask for a number. We came to (general manager) Gar (Forman) last summer and we wanted to sit down and talk. And Gar didn’t want to talk. They felt like they wanted to wait and see how everything goes with Derrick (Rose). “Three days before the trade, Gar called me upstairs and put three years, $30 million on the table. Take it or leave it. No negotiation. I said no and that was it. But 15? That’s the only thing that upset me. I’m not upset with the organization. I want everyone to understand that. If I was a GM, would I make that move? Maybe. “I wanted to be in Chicago. I thought I was going to end my career there. Not talking during the summer, did that hurt me? Yeah. And then you come back with 10 (million). Who knows what I would’ve taken in the summer? That’s the part that is really bothering me. Other than that, I have no issues at all.” In fact, Deng’s memories of nine-plus seasons with the Bulls are incredibly fond ones. “They paid me,” Deng said, referencing the $71 million extension he signed in 2008. “I can’t be mad at that. You don’t have to tap me on the shoulder every day. That’s not me. That’s not my personality.
Deng denies asking Bulls for $15M per year
Chicago Tribune | Jan 9