To make matters even more attractive, Deng’s hefty contract only has two seasons left, making it a low-risk deal for anyone with cap concerns (and I’m sure we’ll all be revisiting this topic after next season once his contract starts expiring).
If the Bulls were to trade Deng, they’d obviously need to find another small forward, something they could have addressed in the draft but elected not to. They could also use him to land a productive shooting guard, something they’ve been unable to do for the last two years.
But the Bulls seem intent on sticking with Deng, and with their apparent interest in retired shooting guard Brandon Roy, they may find themselves mired in more injuries next season. Rose will still be nursing his ACL, Richard Hamilton proved this season he’s made of glass, and Carlos Boozer’s health is always worrisome. (And the Bulls are lucky Joakim Noah didn’t break his ankle in that Philly series).
The Bulls front office tends to pride itself on thinking ahead (they have the Bobcats’ pick and European top prospect Nikola Mirotic coming in 2016). If this is really the case, then they should coerce Deng into having his surgery after the Olympics in order to preserve his health for the long term. Otherwise, they should think even further ahead and consider trading him while he’s still valuable in order to avoid potential ongoing issues with Deng’s wrist.