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3 Points: A Bulls future for Deng?

12/4/2013
The Bulls and Luol Deng have said they won't talk contract until after the season. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Every week, ESPNChicago.com Bulls writer Nick Friedell is joined by two other ESPN writers to weigh in on three questions that are on the minds of Bulls followers.

1. Do the Bulls really believe they might be able to work out a new deal with Luol Deng this summer?

Nick Friedell: No. There's been no indication that Deng will take a "hometown discount" and there's been no indication the Bulls will give him more money. Bulls general manager Gar Forman has to choose his words carefully because he can't come out and say, "We're trading Deng." That's not how the game works.

Scoop Jackson: Only if they really feel Luol wants to stay here, which I'd be surprised if that's true. I think Luol and Thibs connect with each other in a way that no one else on the team does. And I think they know this and, to a degree, cherish it. Sometimes, regardless of how bad a player wants to or how smart it would be for said player to leave, a player knows how hard it is to be in-sync 100 percent with a coach. And if they have a chance to extend that, they will. So if Forman knows that he and the Bulls have that as leverage, then there is a chance that he will be back in a Bulls uni next season.

Doug Padilla: Clouding that decision is Derrick Rose's status and whether the Bulls believe the former MVP can stay healthy and carry the team. If that answer is no, then don't be surprised to see the Bulls move on when it comes to Deng while also applying the amnesty escape clause to Carlos Boozer. That could free up the cash to find a new team leader on the open market and hope Rose can give them something down the road.

2. How would you assess Tony Snell's play?

Nick Friedell: Solid. The Bulls have been impressed with Snell since they drafted him in the first round in June. They love that he is long, athletic and can shoot, but most of all they love that he works hard in the gym. They believe the rookie is only going to get better.

Scoop Jackson: Hard to say. Here's a cat who is damn near a pure shooter and only getting 3.5 shots per game. So to me, there's no fair way to assess Snell's play 16 games and four starts in. He's a rookie who has been thrown into the fire because of injuries to two key players. It's baptism by boiling water. I will say that I think we'll see more of the type of game he had against the Cavs than he did the Pelicans as he gets more comfortable with the responsibility thrown on him.

Doug Padilla: After some limited minutes it remains difficult to assess Snell. His shooting ability, combined with his wingspan, suggests that he can be valuable in a number of ways. Coach Tom Thibodeau is reluctant to give rookies much playing time, but he has had to with Snell because of the injury to Jimmy Butler.

3. Will Marquis Teague ever live up to his first-round draft status?

Nick Friedell: Not in Chicago. Once a player lands in Thibodeau's doghouse it's hard for him to get out. Teague has shown flashes of talent, but not enough to warrant a spot in Thibodeau's rotation. He has regressed this season.

Scoop Jackson: Nope. I think he's scarred in much the same way Kwame Brown was scarred, the same way Felipe Lopez was scarred, the same way Thomas Robinson and Austin Rivers are scarred. In that he won't be able to overcome the trauma that Teague experienced once he entered the league. Almost as if it both haunts and stunts him. Even though it is on a much lower level than the aforementioned players, I do think that it's going to be tough for Teague to get over and past his first two years and this (albeit short-lived) demotion to the D-League.

Doug Padilla: At this point, it would be hard to find somebody who believes Teague will eventually turn into first-round talent. He's only on the roster now because of Mike James' injury. Teague clearly lacks confidence in the rare minutes he does get and his smallish size doesn't translate into a player who Thibodeau would rely on much, especially on defense.