Luol Deng admitted that the Bulls final offer of $10 million per year for the next three years was presented to him by general manager Gar Forman as a “take it or leave it” deal. And in a recent Chicago Sun-Times interview, Herb Rudoy, Deng’s agent, said the offer was presented with the express purpose of it being declined.
“I think the purpose of it was for us to say no,’’ said Rudoy. “They probably had some deal in the process already. That was the purpose — to make an offer that we absolutely would turn down without question, and then get into their trade process. Again, that’s fine.”
Both Deng and Rudoy have both stated there were never any real negotiations between their side and the Bulls, who expressed on more than one occasion – both publicly and to Deng – they wanted him to remain in Chicago.
“Lu was surprised he was traded. They had certainly made it clear to him that he would be a Bull forever, but he also understands that this is a business," Rudoy said. "And that’s what he’s doing, he’s moving on.’’
Some reports say that Deng wanted between $14-$15 million per year to remain in Chicago, but he and Rudoy disputed the number and said they never had an opportunity to actually talk money.
“We never asked for anything,’’ Rudoy said. “Let me make that clear. We talked with them just before the start of the season, and we were told they weren’t interested in doing an extension, which was fine with us. Then I got a call this past weekend from Gar giving me a three-year offer, and one he said was non-negotiable. It was their final offer, take it or leave it, and Lu decided to not accept it. I was never given an opportunity to propose a dollar figure. Never once. Never had that discussion.
“There were all these assumptions about what we wanted, but we never negotiated," he said. "I would have asked for a lot of money, that’s for sure, but we never had an opportunity to negotiate. That was their position. We made it clear to them that we were going to wait for free agency then. No problem. Wait until July 1.’’