In a move that shouldn’t come as a surprise to Miami Heat management and fans, forward Luol Deng is expected to opt out of his two-year deal with the team and will test the free agent market, which gets underway on Wednesday according to WPLG in Miami.
Hearing that the Heat now expect Luol Deng to opt for free agency and join Dwyane Wade on the open market come Wednesday
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 29, 2015
The 30-year-old Deng signed with the Heat as a free agent last July 15 after leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers, who he had joined six months earlier following a deal with the Chicago Bulls. Prior to that trade, Deng had spent his entire 10-year career with the Bulls.
Scheduled to make $10.15 million for the 2015-16 campaign, Deng is hoping to return to his previous salary level. That salary peaked during the 2013-14 campaign, when the Sudan native made $14.275 million.
However, his numbers may not justify such an effort, given the fact that he averaged 14.0 points and 5.2 rebounds in his 72 games with Miami. In addition, his age and some injury issues could potentially limit the market.
Of course, it’s possible that Deng could end up re-signing with the Heat, but the team is likely pointing toward next season’s class of free agents, which coincides with a huge jump in the team’s salary cap.