Quite the few Bulls fans were prone to reluctance when they heard/saw un-sourced rumors referencing a possible trade involving Luol Deng, plus incentives for Andre Iguodala, saying the potential swap cost too much for nothing in return.
But that's only slightly true. While both can't sustain near 35 percent shooting from behind the three-point line via frequent attempts, it's worth noting outside of that their respective games are totally different.
Truth be told, Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich have contributed massively to Deng's output; whereas over the course of Iguodala's career, he's had to fend for himself and other one-dimensional players (like Kyle Korver of 2006-07) once the primary initiator of the offense left via trade or free agency.
Case in point: Allen Iverson's departure to Denver and Andre Miller's departure to Portland.
(I may even add that it's not irrational to say that Deng's started declining in 2006-07 as the result of teams adjusting to him and Ben Gordon's spacing abilities.)
In 2009, during the Playoffs, Iguodala and Deng each went against tough competition—the 76ers faced the third-seeded Magic, who went to the Finals that year; and Bulls faced-off against the No. 2 seeded Celtics, who were missing an integral part in Kevin Garnett due to injury.
Again, when things balanced themselves out, Deng wilted under pressure. He averaged four minutes fewer than Iguodala on the season, missed a total of 12 games, and was idle inj the playoffs. It was obvious, once again, Deng wasn't meeting expectations.
Iguodala, in turn, had shown his talents by grouping among the plus-17 club, which featured LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant—Iguodala squeezed right behind Bryant and just ahead of Brandon Roy, and claimed twice as much production-usage in the playoffs over then-Bulls Ben Gordon, Brad Miller and oh yeah, Deng , combined.
Also, Iguodala's 2009-10 season showed his versatility, with minutes seen at shooting guard, where he connected on a better percentage from long-distance—35 percent—as opposed to at Small Forward—27 percent. Although his free throw percentage is suspect at shooting guard (69 percent) other facets of his game have raised accordingly. He saw a rise in his scoring at shooting guard, as well as his field-goal percentage. None of his numbers dropped drastically when alternating between both positions, especially his assist rate, contributing no fewer than five per game.
Deng can't match that. In adverse circumstances, the six-year veteran doesn't have the ability to play outside of his natural position. He's underwhelming at creating for others—let alone himself—and doesn't have an explosive gear.
There's a gaping difference between the two players.