He was once the scape goat in Chicago. If something was going wrong, it was Luol Deng and his massive contract’s fault.
Those days are over and it’s proof that winning will fix anything. But the pressure isn’t off Deng simply because the Bulls are winning, Deng is a top contributor for the Bulls and is a centerpiece of the starting five.
Everybody in the NBA wants a Big 3. Miami has one, Boston has one and if the Knicks get Chris Paul, they’ll have one. But the Bulls have one better than all of those teams; they have a Big 4.
Rose. Noah. Boozer. Deng.
Without Deng, the Bulls would only have three and it’s because Deng is finally putting up consistent numbers that he is that fourth big man.
Deng is averaging 17.5 ppg which is just slightly less than the second leading scorer for the Bulls Carlos Boozer who has a 17.9 ppg average. As of April 3rd, in Deng’s last ten games he is averaging 17.1 ppg. Prior to this year, Deng’s highest points average was during the ’06-’07 season when he was at 18.8 ppg.
Deng is the perfect example of what putting other guys around him can do to a player’s production. Since the Bulls added Rose and Noah, Deng’s numbers have been consistent and reliable. He is putting up numbers similar to his stats from last year and they are only getting better. Although Deng is the third scoring option on the Bulls, you could make the argument that he could the first any other roster.