Deng had been on Heat radar along with likes of Lowry and Thomas.
Cleveland Cavaliers star Luol Deng is reportedly unwilling to take a pay cut in order to join the Miami Heat, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.
With LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh dominating the headlines over the past week following their decisions to opt out of their contracts, much of the talk surrounds how the Big Three will construct their new deals in order to help the Heat add to the roster.
It is expected that James will demand a maximum salary contract with both Wade and Bosh willing to take drastic pay cuts, which in turn will then give the franchise the salary-cap space to add a high level free agent this summer.
That recruitment push has taken the Heat towards the likes of Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry and the Sacramento Kings’ Isaiah Thomas, but former Chicago Bulls star Deng has also been mooted as a potential target.
However, that is now unlikely to happen if Broussard’s sources are to be believed, with Deng insisting that he will not take significantly less than his market value to join the Heat.
That sentiment has been echoed by ESPN’s Marc Stein, who suggests that neither Deng nor Lowry are attainable targets.
As a result, Miami team president Pat Riley may have to look elsewhere in order to strengthen this off-season, with a number of veteran free agents available on the market who would undoubtedly add depth and quality to support the main trio.
Nevertheless, it is widely recognised that Riley may not be given enough financial flexibility by the Big Three in order to make significant moves, and so the priority remains in getting them to firstly re-sign before making signings in the free agency market.