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Luol Deng agrees to 2-year, $20 million deal with Heat

By James Herbert | NBA writer

It's like Luol Deng and LeBron James were traded for each other.
It's like Deng and James were traded for each other. (USATSI)

More Offseason Analysis: Coaching changes, news | Free Agency | Draft

Free agent forward Luol Deng has committed to sign with the Miami Heat, a league source told CBSSports.com's Ken Berger. The deal will be for two years and $20 million, with a player option after the first year.

Deng will slide into the starting small forward spot vacated by LeBron James. While obviously not able to provide the same production as the best player on the planet, Deng will be a great fit in Erik Spoelstra's defensive system and be a threat on offense, too.

Splitting last season between the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, he averaged 16 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, shooting 30 percent from three-point range and 43 percent from the field. Miami would like him to be more efficient, and that seems possible given that Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will demand a lot of attention.

This is a solid acquisition for an organization trying to remain relevant after a turn of events that it didn't expect. Heat president Pat Riley still has some work to do in filling out the roster, but acquiring Deng lays the groundwork for Miami still having a chance at home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Given that two days ago it looked like Bosh might be gone, the Heat should be pretty relieved about what's happened so far since James left.

 
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