Heat chasing Luol Deng to pair with Big 3, according to report

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Could one of LeBron James' toughest defenders join him in South Beach?

The Miami Heat are in the hunt for reinforcements to surround a LeBron James/Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh core, and Luol Deng appears high on their list, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

But will Deng make his way to South Beach? Let's unpack this rumor:

Why this makes sense

NBA Free Agency

The Heat are seeking another wing player to take the load off James and Wade. Even though there is positional duplication, Miami's system allows for such players to also play alongside James and Wade if possible. Miami has also shown interest in Washington's Trevor Ariza to fill a similar role.

If the choice is between those two, Deng has a clear leg up. He's more versatile, he has more of a track record of success and has been a thorn in James' side throughout their careers. Deng struggled a bit in Cleveland, but he won't have to do nearly as much with Miami.

Why this doesn't make sense

The Heat are competing with several other teams that can drive Deng's price range up. The Dallas Mavericks have maximum cap space and a hole at small forward should Carmelo Anthony sign elsewhere. The Clippers also called Deng's representatives on the first night of free agency, and while they don't have cap space, they can work out a sign-and-trade. Deng also turned down a three-year, $30 million extension offer from the Bulls prior to January's trade.

It's unclear how much money James, Wade and Bosh have earmarked for improvements, but Deng will surely command a huge slice of it.

Likelihood: 3/10

Deng is definitely a Heat target, but I'd think he's out of the Heat's price range unless he takes a pay cut.

More from SBNation.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.