Deng on Cavs: I Want to Turn it Around
CLEVELAND — Two-time NBA All Star Luol Deng is a great teammate and he wants that to be a big aspect of his game as he gets used to a new city and new guys to play hoops with.
Deng spent Wednesday getting acclimated to Cleveland and his Wine and Gold buddies.
“It’s something new for me and I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” Deng said from Cleveland Clinic Courts. “I want to work hard, I want to fit in as much as I can and I want to turn it around.”
Deng brings his 19 points per game at the small forward position to Cleveland.
His production dwarfed that of the combination of Alonzo Gee and Earl Clark.
Deng, who while wearing number 8 in practice Wednesday, will be able to suit up with jersey number 9, his familiar number from the nine seasons in Chicago.
Matthew Dellavedova, who wore number 9, is giving it up to allow Luol to wear his favorite number.
Will Deng sign an extension with the Cavs after the season?
He will become a free agent. The Cavs want him long-term.
Deng said he would entertain negotiating next summer with the Cavs but he does know there will be a market out there for his services. A lucrative market.
He certainly has the credentials to lead the young club to the playoffs. They are not far out with more than half the season left.
Mike Brown knows the team has to build chemistry, but that must be a two-way street.
But pardon Deng if his mind is still a bit on the team he left behind.
“It’s basketball at the end of the day, and it’s my job. But the hardest thing is those are friends,” Deng said. “It’s really hard when you wake up the next day and know that your friend is gone and he’s going to be competing against you.”
The Cavs will get in one more practice before flying to Utah Thursday to begin a long West Coast swing on Friday night. Deng should make his Cavs debut that night.