Luol Deng is a 29-year-old small forward who was named to two of the last three All-Star games. Not including players with contract options, he enters the summer as one of the league's most desirable unrestricted free agents, and in a market this thin, will be paid handsomely for his trouble.
Deng is on the record discussing what he wants, as he told CSNChicago’s Sam Aggrey:
I want to win. A winning situation, that's it. I want to be in a place where guys are committed, the team is committed, the organization is committed, the coaching staff knows what direction they're going.
To me, I play better and I shine better and I'm a better player on a team that's committed to winning. I've been on teams that are losing in the past, and it's shown that it isn't for me because it just drags everybody down. But when a team knows where they're going, what direction they're going, I want to be in a winning environment. That's where I want to be.
Not mentioned: He wants to get paid, and any potential suitor should be more than willing to exceed the three-year, $30 million offer the Chicago Bulls reportedly made before trading Deng last season. His current contract averaged out to approximately $11.8 million per year over the last six seasons, and this next one should be between $48-56 million over four years.
Most of the organizations that will go after him are looking to win right now; they need a player like Deng to to push them over the hump. Here are five, ranked on the likelihood Deng actually ends up wearing their jersey next season.