Saturday , Apr , 19 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Ben Gordon, Luol Deng Hope to Stay with Chicago Bulls

Gordon and Deng, both of whom turned down five-year contract extensions worth $50 million last fall, will be restricted free agents July 1.

”I didn’t get any indication from Pax that I wasn’t in the plans,” Gordon said. ”The organization knows what I’m capable of, so if they feel that I’m a piece that they need, they’ll make the necessary moves.”

Deng also said he wants to remain with the team.

”I feel like I’m in their plans,” he said. ”But with this league, you never know.”

Paxson likely will let both players solicit offer sheets from other teams that the Bulls would match. If they don’t get offers they like, they could sign one-year qualifying contracts with the Bulls — $6.4 million for Gordon and $4.4 million for Deng — that would allow them to be unrestricted free agents after next season. [Chicago Sun-Times]