The Atlanta Hawks have jumped into the pursuit of Luol Deng. USA Today is reporting that the Atlanta Hawks are preparing to make a run at landing Deng, and Thabo Sefolosha will be the bait.
While free agent small forward Luol Deng isn’t expected to visit with interested teams until next week, the Atlanta Hawks appear to be making an early pitch.
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Deng was expected to speak with Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer about the possible partnership on Thursday night. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks.
The Hawks are slated to have about $11.5 million in salary cap room once the free agency moratorium lifts on July 10. Their recent agreement with formerOklahoma City Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha on a four-year, $12 million deal appears to have helped their efforts to land Deng. The two players were together with the Chicago Bulls from 2006 to 2009 and had a very good relationship. The same goes for Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver, who was with Deng in Chicago from 2010 to 2012. Deng spent his first nine seasons in Chicago before he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in January.
Deng is unlikely to make a decision until after Carmelo and LeBron, but has several lucrative options. The Hawks are a team on the rise and landing Deng who move them a step closer to being a contender.