Luol Deng Issuing Challenge to Chicago Bulls?
Unless the Chicago Bulls can reach an agreement for a contract extension with restricted free agent Luol Deng before he departs to join the Great Britain national team in two weeks, he will end talks and tell management that he plans to leave the organization as a free agent next summer, a source close to Deng told Yahoo! Sports.
Deng is determined to come to terms on a long-term contract, but he has set an Aug. 4 deadline to reach an agreement. Once Deng, 23, leaves the country for the European Championship qualifying tournament, he will a sign a one-year qualifying offer for $4.5 million and become an unrestricted free agent in 2009.
The message to the Bulls promises to be implicit: Unless the two sides come to terms soon, Deng will never again negotiate with them. He will not let the uncertainty over his future hang over another basketball season, and unless a sign-and-trade is worked out, Deng will play out his final season in 2008-09 and sign elsewhere next summer.