NBA Free Agency: Luol Deng signs for Miami Heat

Luol Deng

The British small forward will attempt to fill the LeBron James sized whole left in South Beach.

Luol Deng will be playing in Miami next year after agreeing to a 2-year, $20 million contract with the Heat. The Brit should fit nicely into the Miami Heat set up and goes some way to ensuring that the world as Heat fans know it will not fall apart now that LeBron has left.

 

Arguably the most talented basketball player to ever come out of the UK, Deng has been an excellent NBA player for some time now and while he may just be past the peak of his powers, he still has a lot of productive minutes left in him.

Averaging 16.0 points per game, last year saw Deng move away from the team that traded for his draft rights back in 2004, the Chicago Bulls. In his time in Chicago Deng had come to epitomize the philosophy of Tom Thibideau’s Bulls’.

He was a tough, defensively minded player that was capable of grinding with the best of them. His mental and physical endurance has seen him lead the league in minutes twice during his career, while only averaging less than 30 minutes per night in 1 season during his career.

The Heat will need the toughness that Deng brings and his excellent defensive play will help make up for losing one of the best defenders in the game in LeBron James.

Deng’s offensive game, however, may not bring the Heat too much to scream about. Deng’s field goal and 3-point percentages have taken a worrying dip in recent years and it will be interesting to see how heavily Erik Spoelstra chooses to rely on Deng on this end of the floor.

This is a good response from the Miami Heat who will now have Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng making up their nucleus, a core that should see them return to the play-offs next year. Of course, things will never be the same in Miami but at least the Heat are trying to ensure they don't fall too far.