The Chicago Bulls announced today the signing of Luol Deng. After signing, Deng made known his intent to retire from the NBA.
"We're very fortunate and humbled that Luol has chosen to retire as a Chicago Bull," said President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Reinsdorf. "He was a role model on and off the court during his nine-plus years in Chicago, and he gave everything he had to help us win. I want to thank Luol for not only what he accomplished on the court for the team, but also for the leadership he demonstrated through his philanthropic efforts."
The two-time All-Star from South Sudan was selected seventh overall by the Bulls in the 2004 NBA Draft. In 902 games over 15 seasons with Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, the L.A. Lakers and Minnesota, Deng averaged 14.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 34.3 minutes per game. He played in the postseason seven times – six with Chicago and one with Miami – where he averaged 15.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists through 62 games.
"From the moment we made Luol Deng the seventh overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls became a better team," said Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson. "Luol carried himself with first-class professionalism and leadership, helping lead his Bulls team to eight playoff appearances during his time in Chicago. We'll always remember his All-Star career and the fierce competitiveness he brought to both ends of the floor every night."
Deng averaged double-figure scoring his first 12 seasons in the league, and he led the NBA in minutes per game in both 2011-12 (39.4) and 2012-13 (38.7), both seasons in which he was selected to be an All-Star. Deng was named to the 2011-12 All-Defensive Second Team and the 2004-05 All-Rookie First Team. He won the Sportsmanship Award in 2006-07, but he was not only recognized for his steadfast presence on the court: In 2013-14, Deng was named the recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, an honor given by the Professional Basketball Writers Association to a player, coach, or athletic trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.
Deng ranks highly on the Bulls' All-Time Career Leaders list in seasons played (T-4th, 10), games played (6th, 637), minutes (5th, 22,882), points (4th, 10,286), field goals made (5th, 3,987), field goals attempted (5th, 8,675), free throws made (8th, 1,925), free throws attempted (8th, 2,490), offensive rebounds (9th, 1,109), defensive rebounds (6th, 2,969), total rebounds (9th, 4,078), steals (5th, 639) and blocked shots (10th, 360). He led the Bulls in scoring in both the 2011-12 (15.3 ppg) and 2012-13 (16.5 ppg) seasons.
The Bulls will honor Deng at a game to be determined later this season.
In a preceding move, the Bulls waived Perrion Callandret.