Luol Deng rejected the chance to sign a three-year extension worth $30m with the Chicago Bulls just days before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to reports from Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Two-time All-Star Deng, who had been in Chicago since being selected with the seventh overall pick of the 2004 draft by the Phoenix Suns and immediately dealt, was traded to the Cavs yesterday in exchange for controversial center Andrew Bynum and three future draft picks.
The Bulls, who will presumably waive Bynum immediately following the deal, were also engaged in talks with the hard-working small forward during the summer but no agreement was reached.
Sudan-born Deng, who was somewhat of a fans favourite at United Center due to his reliability and commitment to the cause, will become an unrestricted free agent during the summer and it is unclear if he intends to seek a further move at that time or commit his long-term future to the Cavs.
The Bulls, who lost superstar point guard to Derrick Rose to another season-ending knee injury back in November, have looked somewhat lost at times without their biggest talent and currently sit sixth in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 14-18.
The Cavs, meanwhile, harboured hopes of a positive campaign following a satisfying off-season, however Mike Brown's team have not managed to discover a cohesive system despite the stellar form of Kyrie Irving.
Deng, at least, should add an element of professionalism and maturity to a roster that has experienced problems with harmony so far this season.