Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The Rumor: According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, "the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in keeping [Luol] Deng long-term, but also know there is plenty of time to evaluate him and begin extension talks, a league source said."
Fact: It's true that Cleveland doesn't technically need to be in a rush to sign Deng, as it'll be able to do so until June 30. Given Deng's injury history, it's the prudent move to let the year play out. If Deng gets injured as it currently stands, only he loses negotiating power, which shouldn't hurt Cleveland at all.
Extending him now means taking on unnecessary risk. The desire to keep Deng long-term, especially when you consider the assets forfeited for him, makes plenty of sense.
Fiction: The idea that the Cavs are delaying on an extension for Deng to leave the door open for LeBron James feels false. Pipe dream aside, Cleveland will have to renounce the rights and cap hold to Deng in order to clear max space in free agency.
If the Cavs had any indication that James was coming back, forfeiting future assets for Deng wouldn't make any sense, as Deng would have to sign through free agency for a significantly reduced contract to play in Cleveland going forward. It's all very unlikely logistically.
Verdict: Neither side has much incentive to negotiate an extension right now. Deng should want to wait and see if Cleveland can be a successful playoff team, and Cleveland shouldn't want to take on extra risk. I'll buy that this is a negotiation that will be tabled until the season is over.