2014 Free Agency, Latest News / Jul 13, 2014 / 3:15 pm

Deng Agrees To Two-Year Deal With Heat

Luol Deng

Luol Deng (David Richard, USATODAY Sports)

The shoes of LeBron James can’t be filled by a single player, but the Miami Heat made quick work in finding a replacement for the four-time MVP nevertheless. According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, Luol Deng has agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the Heat.

Amick also reports that the second year of Deng’s contract is a player option.

Pat Riley made Deng his top priority after James announced his decision on Friday. He’d previously tried to coax the two-time All-Star to join the Heat when it was assumed LeBron was returning, but was ultimately rebuffed because of Deng’s salary commands. With an unexpected amount of cap room given James’ departure and the gaping hole he left on Miami’s roster, going after Deng a second time made perfect sense for Riley.

Once the Heat re-sign Dwyane Wade, they’ll suddenly have a very competitive team in place less than 48 hours after it appeared possible Wade and Chris Bosh would follow James out the door. It was assumed immediately following LeBron’s announcement that Bosh would leave Miami for the Houston Rockets, and even Wade – the Heat’s version of Kobe Bryant or Dirk Nowitzki – was being courted by the Chicago Bulls. But Bosh’s surprising decision to remain in Miami put the wheels in motion for a relative recovery from the disaster of losing James, and bringing Deng aboard is the latest step to that process.

Add a re-built Miami team to a suddenly long list of solid teams in the Eastern Conference. The LeBron-less Heat might not be title contenders, but seem poised to act as a thorn in the side of conference favorites at the very least come next spring.

How will the Heat fare in 2014-2015?

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  • Tom Robertson

    I bet they do better then the Cavs.

  • Onaje

    They are shaping up to look better than the Cavs and almost every other team still….in the East. If they find a way to snag Bledsoe and unload Chalmers and or Cole…that would be another big boom for The Heat and would be the favorites to come out the East to me…

    The East is shaping up to be very competitive this year, but talent was The West still have the best collection of teams overall and will more than likely have the the best collective reocrds this year as well. But Gasol to the Bullswith Marotic joing, Pierce helping out a young Wiz team, Healthy Lopez, returning KG, more room for Joe Johnson as well as Plumlee being one year better, Obviously the Cavs are in the playoff picture and could have a 55 win team…

    The only team that looks stagnant are the Pacers…no real additions or moves to get better…Lance still not in the fold, but there aren’t many options out there for Lance it seems as more guys get signed…it is crazy how much Heyward, Parsons can get, but Lance has to haggle for $10 million?? Especially given the fact that Pacers had no heartbeat if it weren’t for Lance on too many nots (looking at Paul George for his lack of leadership and impact)…

    So Lance, Bledsoe are too great pieces yet to drop…I wonder why Lakers took on Lin’s contract or if they even looked at grabbing Bledsoe…

    Random – How does Jordan Hill get $9 mill a year…so many curious contracts…