Former Bulls star arrived at franchise last month in trade deal.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly made recent acquisition Luol Deng available ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline according to multiple league sources.
The Cavs traded three future draft picks and Andrew Bynum to the Chicago Bulls in return for Deng on January 7, but it is understood that despite some recent signs of progress that the deal is not working out in the way that either side had hoped for.
While the franchise are not determined to trade the 28-year-old, they are concerned by his impending free agency and as a result general manager David Griffin is testing the market to see what he may be able to receive in return, ESPN reports.
Deng will be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career this summer, and the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks have been linked with interest in signing him given that they will both benefit from significant cap space.
However, given that his current contract set to expire this summer, it may be difficult for Cleveland to get value while there are also restrictions in terms of packaging him with another player.
Deng has struggled since his switch to the Cavs, averaging just 14.6 points per game and 41 percent shooting which are noticeable drops from his time in Chicago, although it is to be expected given that he was their primary offensive option.
Nevertheless, despite Cleveland winning their last five games, they are eager to see if they can upgrade their roster for Deng, while both Alonzo Gee and Earl Clark are also concerns and potential trade deadline day movers as their contracts are set to expire at the end of the season.
The Cavaliers are now three games adrift of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but the front office appear to be ready to sacrifice pieces that they possess now in order to strengthen the roster moving forward if possible.