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Report: Heat and Luol Deng are 'significantly apart' on money

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

Luol Deng may be surprised the big-money offer isn't there yet.  (USATSI)
Luol Deng may be surprised the big-money offer isn't there yet. (USATSI)

More Offseason Analysis: Updating Free Agency news | Free Agent tracker

ESPN reports that the Miami Heat remain far apart from Luol Deng in negotiations to add the veteran wing to replace the gaping vacuumous hole on the wing after the departure of LeBron James.

Yahoo Sports reports that the competition for Deng is still between several teams:

Heat president Pat Riley and Deng's agent Ron Shade had talks on Saturday and plan to reconnect on Sunday morning.

Miami is competing with several teams, including Atlanta and Dallas, to sign Deng.

via Sources: Heat negotiating with Luol Deng as possible replacement for LeBron James - Yahoo Sports.

Deng averaged 16 points and 5.7 rebounds last season for the Bulls and Cavs, shooting 43 percent overall, including just 42 percent when he was traded to a new system in Cleveland. He provides more value as a perimeter defender, though.

The Heat could use Deng, particularly to cover for Dwyane Wade's dwindling athleticism affecting his defense. Deng doesn't turn 30 until next April, so he's really just hitting his prime, despite concerns over a possible slide in the coming seasons. Much of that is related to Tom Thibodeau's running of Deng into the ground minutes-wise during his time in Chicago.

Deng is a quality teammated and a positive addition, and would help the Heat remain playoff-competitive following James' departure. Reports last season had indicated Deng was looking for as much as $13 million per season in his next contract.

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