Chicago Bulls: 2013 NBA draft

Deng for a top pick? Bulls should do it

June, 24, 2013
6/24/13
9:22
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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Luol DengAP Photo/Alonzo AdamsThe Bulls risk losing Luol Deng for nothing if he plays out his deal in Chicago and becomes too expensive to re-sign.
If the Chicago Bulls have a chance to deal Luol Deng for a top pick in Thursday's NBA draft they should do it.

Tom Thibodeau has called Deng the "glue" of the Bulls and it would be tough for the him to lose his most trusted player. But the reality for Deng, and for the organization, is that he has played a lot of minutes over the past few years and the front office isn't sure how much they would want to pay him after the final year of his deal runs out after next year.

That's why Deng was always the most likely candidate to be dealt before this summer and why Marc Stein's report that the Bulls have explored a deal with the Washington Wizards that would land them the third pick in the draft and Emeka Okafor, assuming he were to opt into his contract worth $14.5 million, shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Let's take a look at a few of the key factors involved in any potential deal.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
21.6 3.4 1.5 40.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.5
AssistsD. Rose 5.0
StealsJ. Butler 1.5
BlocksP. Gasol 2.0