David Liam Kyle
HEAT Signs Luol Deng
MIAMI, June 15 – The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Luol Deng. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Signing Luol Deng is one of the most important free agent signings that we have ever had in the history of the franchise,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He is a proven All-Star and quintessential team player, both as a scorer, as well as an All-NBA defender. He brings the attitude of a warrior and competes every single night against the very, very best. We are thrilled to welcome him to the HEAT family.”
Deng, a 10-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 677 career NBA regular season games (631 starts) and averaged 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 35.8 minutes while shooting 45.7 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from three-point range and 77.3 percent from the foul line. Among Chicago’s all-time franchise leaders, he ranks fourth in points, fifth in field goals made, sixth in games played and three-point field goals made and eighth in free throws made and offensive rebounds. The 2011-12 NBA All-Defensive Second Team honoree also ranks among the Bulls all-time franchise defensive leaders, including fifth in defensive rebounds and steals, ninth in total rebounds and 10th in blocks.
The two-time NBA All-Star split the 2013-14 season between the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, appearing in 63 total games (all starts) and averaged 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 35.1 minutes while shooting 43.1 percent from the field, 30.2 percent from three-point range and 79.1 percent from the foul line. Prior to his trade to Cleveland on January 7, Deng was averaging a career-high 19.0 points per game and a career-best 3.7 assists per game. Additionally, he has appeared in 48 career postseason games (42 starts) and averaged 16.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 40.3 minutes while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 74.9 percent from the foul line.
In addition to his accomplishments on the court, Deng is also involved in numerous charities, including the Luol Deng Foundation. For his philanthropic efforts, he earned the NBA’s 2013-14 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, was named the UN Refugee Agency’s 2008 Humanitarian of the Year and selected as the 2006-07 Golden Icon Best Sports Role Model. He also served as ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic Games and won the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award in 2007.
Deng, who was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, was originally selected in the first round (7th overall) by the Phoenix Suns in the 2004 NBA Draft.