Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
In five full games since Rose's injury, Luol Deng has essentially produced like LeBron James. His numbers have been monstrous, and he's amid one of the better stretches of his career.
While these gaudy digits won't persist, can we at least conclude that his game's reaching a new level? Should we buy or sell Deng's improvements?
We have to sell this because Deng is a veteran, and we're well aware of who he is. He's more than capable of having big-time performances, even stretches like this where his exceptional output lingers for numerous games.
Yet, Deng has been the model of consistency over the years, and his career averages are 16.1 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per outing. It's highly unlikely that his repertoire ascends to new heights, especially as he approaches the age of 30.
One might even argue that Deng becomes much better with Rose sidelined, but remember that Deng only averaged 16.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season without Rose.
The Bulls shouldn't be viewing Deng's efforts as reason to hang on to him. With his contract expiring at the end of the year, they should see these quality statistics as increased trade value.
Honestly, they should strongly consider trading him ASAP, while he's performing incredibly well and remains healthy.