Luol Deng may be on the trading block for the Chicago Bulls, league sources told The Daily Herald. The forward was a valuable asset on both ends of the floor last season, and even led the league in minutes per game. The Bulls are running up against the luxury tax, however, with $56 million tied up in the salaries of Deng, Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah.
Of the four, Deng seems to make the most sense as trade bait. Rose is too invaluable to the team, and it will be difficult to spark much interest for the aging Boozer. Mobile seven-footers like Noah are hard to come by, leaving Deng as the potential odd man out.
Also factoring into a potential trade is Deng's decision to wait until after the 2012 London Olympics to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist. As a result, he could miss the start of the 2012-13 season.
The Bulls could find several interested suitors. Minnesota, Toronto, Portland, Milwaukee, New Orleans and Sacramento are all young squads potentially willing to trade away a lottery pick for a veteran presence.
Chicago doesn't have an eye on a specific target in the 2012 NBA Draft. The team had a draft camp meeting with UNC's Harrison Barnes, though Duke's Austin Rivers, UConn's Jeremy Lamb and Syracuse's Dion Waiters are also options.