Luol Deng to Clippers?
For one, what on Earth would the Bulls do in the top 10? Chicago has been rumored to be interesting in selling off its 17th pick for weeks now on account of wanting to keep as much cap space as possible open for the July free agent market. The 17th pick in this year's draft will make $1.3 million next season. The 8th pick will make $2.1 million.
The key is in losing Deng, who is scheduled to make $11.3 million next year and a total of about $50 million over the next four seasons. Deng's a solid player, a near-All-Star several years ago. But that's a rich contract in today's salary climate, let alone the post-2011 world in which salaries are expected to shrink dramatically.
Clippers owner Donald Sterling can handle it, and in fact, that might be the only way to get him to take on a big contract, by trading for it. The Clips have been a nominal member of the LeBron James Sweepstakes, owing to the presence of excellent cap space and a gaping hole at small forward. Deng fills up both immediately, but would effectively take L.A. out of the running for major free agents in July and August.
It'd also cost the No. 8 pick, which is expected to be promising small forward Al-Farouq Aminu out of Wake Forest. How much of an upgrade over Aminu is Deng, really? That's a question the Clippers will have to answer so long as this deal is on the table.