Deng on trade chatter: Part of the deal

November, 27, 2013
11/27/13
11:49
AM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, Mich. -- Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng has been around the NBA long enough to know that everything can change in the blink of an eye. In this case, he knows that Derrick Rose's latest knee injury could make his time with the Bulls come to a close sooner than expected.

[+] EnlargeLoul Deng
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesLuol Deng says he's not worried about trade rumors.
Deng's contract expires at the end of the season. The Bulls' front office and his representatives are at an impasse in extension talks. So Deng knows he has a much better chance to be dealt than he did when Rose was still healthy.

"That's part of the [deal]," he said before Wednesday's shootaround as the Bulls prepared for their game against Detroit. "Since I've been in the league, it's always -- every year it's a possibility [of being dealt]; anything can happen. It's unfortunate we're going through what we're going through, but it is what it is. It happens. You got to deal with it. But in terms of things changing, you can't worry about that as a player."

Deng acknowledged that it is difficult for a team to go from having championship expectations -- Rose returning this season had a lot to do with that -- to facing an uncertain future.

"It's definitely there," Deng said of the chatter. "I don't know if you would call it a distraction, it's almost -- it's disturbing. But it is what it is. I think it's part of what we do. [Rose's injury] happened. It's going to create a tension, right reason, wrong reason, whatever it is. But in terms of player's [mentalities], I think you've got to have the same drive and the same work ethic and the same belief you did before. It's just a situation you can't handle either way so you just got to do what you can."

Deng, who told ESPN's Chris Broussard earlier this year he would like to retire as a Bull, said Rose's injury does not change his feeling of wanting to stay with Chicago beyond this season.

"I don't even have to answer that," he said. "I think if you think I want to leave, then you think I want to leave. If you think I want to stay -- I don't really need to answer that. I think people know where my where heart is."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5