Luol Deng Staying in Miami

Miami Heat Deng

Luol Deng has taken up his player option with the Miami Heat, confirming that he’ll be in South Beach for the 2015/16 season.

Deng has had a solid year with the Heat following his move from the Cleveland Cavaliers and has started 72 games with them as he continued to showcase his defensive prowess on the perimeter.

Having spent the first 9 years of his career with the Chicago Bulls, Deng quickly announced himself as one of the most reliable players in the league with an eye for defensive quality.

He notably led the NBA in minutes per game during the latter stages of his time in Chicago, with former Coach Tom Thibodeau pinpointing him as one of his most trusted players.

His time in Cleveland wasn’t his greatest, however the Team GB star has since rediscovered his form in Miami, quickly nailing down a starting role as a lock-down defender and offensive role player.

Deng will pick up just over $10m with the deal, and Miami will be hoping to see him continue his production across the court, after he averaged 14ppg and 5.2rpg over the course of the year.

It also guarantees that the Heat won’t need to go shopping for another small forward, after they drafted Justise Winslow – who will likely play back-up to Deng.

This doesn’t mean that Miami won’t be looking for extra talent to help pad the roster, with the team having built a solid core of players, with Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Deng and Chris Bosh standing out alongside Hassan Whiteside.

Wade is still an interesting topic of conversation in Miami, with the long-time Heat star having opted out of his player option and the team likely to offer a lot of cash to keep him in Florida.

Dwyane Wade

Wade has numerous suitors around the league, with the Lakers rumoured to be interested in bringing him to the West alongside plenty of other teams.

Goran Dragic is also a talking point in free agency, with his future also open – although Wade is likely to be the main priority ahead of the point guard.

So, what do you think of the news coming from Miami? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Luke Hatfield is the creator and editor of BouncyOrangeBall, with an extensive knowledge of the NBA and basketball in general.

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