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Average Fantasy Points
Average Fantasy Points are determined when Luol Deng was active vs. non-active during the season. Click here to view average fantasy points for a different time period.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The Lakers inked Deng to a four-year, $72 million contract last July, likely with the goal that he would provide the team with a capable veteran bridge at either forward spot until No. 2 overall pick Brandon Ingram and second-year big man Julius Randle were deemed ready to take on 30-plus-minute roles. It didn't take long for the organization to have buyer's remorse, as Deng's production completely tanked following 12 consecutive seasons of double-digit scoring, resulting in the 32-year-old losing his starting job shortly before the All-Star break before being shut down for the final 22 games as a healthy inactive. Deng concluded the campaign with career-worst marks across the board, lowlighted by a 7.3 points per game average on 38.7 percent shooting from the floor. Coach Luke Walton's decision to phase out Deng opened up more minutes for Ingram, and although the 20-year-old didn't exactly break out in the second half, he probably showcased enough overall improvement to earn the starting gig at small forward heading into 2017-18. With Ingram set to see his role expand, Deng now appears bound to compete for a spot on the second unit, but a regular rotation spot isn't even guaranteed based on how the previous season ended. Along with holdovers Larry Nance and Corey Brewer, Deng may have to battle promising 2017 first-round pick Kyle Kuzma for run at either forward spot.
Playing alongside the likes of Dwyane Wade, Goran Dragic and Chris Bosh in Miami last season, Deng saw his offensive role diminish for a second straight year, with his 10.1 shots per game ranking as his fewest since entering the league in 2004-05. Thanks to a second-half surge fueled in large part by a move to power forward in the wake of Chris Bosh's absence due to blood clots, Deng was able to finish with a respectable 12.3 points, 6.0 boards and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three-point land. The 31-year-old Deng has a lot of mileage on his odometer and is clearly in the decline phase of his career, but he's still a capable NBA starter who can handle a supporting role. The Lakers valued Deng's veteran know-how and steady two-way play enough to sign him to a four-year, $72 million deal this summer, and he's expected to open the season as a starter at small forward. However, it's unlikely that Deng sees his playing time or offensive usage exceed last year's levels, especially with No. 2 overall pick Brandon Ingram waiting in the wings to pick up more minutes over the course of the season. That said, Deng will still probably play enough to offer useful outputs as a scorer and rebounder without hurting fantasy owners in the percentage categories.
Deng elected to opt into his player option for the 2015-16 season and remain a member of the Heat after appearing and starting in 72 games with them last season. Statistically, he is coming off the worst season of his career since his rookie year, posting averages of 14.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in nearly 34 minutes per game. However, despite regressing a bit statistically, Deng still had a fairly efficient season while filling the void LeBron James' departure left on the wing, as he shot 47 percent from the field, Deng's highest mark since 2007-08 season, and 36 percent from behind the arc. Now, in what will be his 12th season in the league, Deng may have the smallest roll he's ever had in his career, as he will likely be the fourth scoring option offensively behind Chris Bosh, Goran Dragic, and Dwyane Wade, while Justise Winslow, the team's 2015 first-round pick, will join the rotation to steal some of the 30-year-old's minutes. The good news for Deng is that last season was one of his healthiest after only playing in 63 games combined in his previous two, so the lighter workload will surely benefit his overall health.
Deng signed a two-year deal in the offseason to become a member of the Miami Heat. Of course, Deng's acquisition is an attempt to do the impossible job of filling the hole left by LeBron James. Since trying to compare the two doesn't make much sense, Deng will use his 11th season in the NBA to usher in a new era of Miami basketball while partnering with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. He started last season in Chicago and ended it in Cleveland, averaging 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.1 blocks, and 0.9 threes on 35 minutes per game. With a new role in South Beach, just because he can't replicate the play of James doesn't mean that Deng won't have the opportunity to improve upon his numbers from last season. The 29-year-old should be an integral part of the Heat's offense this season as he'll look to avoid injuries that limited his availability to 63 games in 2013-14. His prior history in the league has proven that the native of England can contribute in all categories, and there's no reason why that shouldn't be the case In his tenure in Miami.
Deng is often thought as a middle of the road option at small forward, a guy who doesn't do any one thing really well. That might be true, but there is some black on his basketball reference page. He has led the league in minutes per game in each of the past two seasons. Of course, that makes his per game stats of 16.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 three-pointers less impressive, but it doesn't matter how his per-36 numbers stack up if he's playing 39 minutes per game and everyone else getting drafted around him is closer to 30 mpg. There are no guarantees, but the smart money is on Deng's 43 percent field-goal percentage seeing a boost with the return of Derrick Rose. Deng shot 47 percent and 46 percent from the field in 2009-10 and 2010-11, respectively, and then saw that dip to 41 percent in 2011-12, with minor improvement last season. The drop coincides with Rose missing time, which makes sense, as Deng's shots would naturally be better contested without the 2010-11 MVP drawing defenders. He shouldn't hurt you in any categories this year, and his ample playing time allows Deng to be of value in all formats.
Deng once again showed in 2011-12 why he is one of the best fantasy bargains at the small forward position. He averaged 15-plus points per game for the fifth time in the past six years, and his 6.5 rebounds per game placed once again in the top-10 at the position. Deng averaged 16.7 points per game in the 24 regular season games that Derrick Rose missed last season, which was actually slightly less than the 17.4 points he averaged with Rose in 2010-11. With Rose expected to miss a good chunk of the 2012-13 season, the numbers don’t suggest that Deng’s numbers will be heavily impacted. In the past two seasons Deng has started to utilize the three-point shot more, and last season he averaged a career-high 1.5 threes per game on 36.7 percent shooting from deep. If he again makes the long-range shot an even bigger part of his game, that’s yet another category in which his owners can expect above average production. Deng is a safe, but relatively low-upside fantasy play for 2012-13.
Deng has been playing under the radar for most of his career, but he started to come out of the shadows under coach Tom Thibodeau last season. Although the Bulls will continue to run their offense through Derek Rose and Carlos Boozer, Deng’s growth from beyond the arc – he averaged over a three-pointer per game last season – provided a new weapon in his arsenal. With another offseason to work on the skill, more growth in that area is likely in store. While it seems like he’s been around forever, Deng is still just 26 years old, and entering into his peak seasons. While his rebounds slightly regressed last season, Deng improved his assist numbers slightly, as he’s become a more important part of the offense.
Deng did a couple things last season that he hadn't done either recently or, in some cases, ever before. For starters, he stayed on the court. Having averaged only 56 games over the previous two seasons, Deng just barely crossed the 70-game threshold last year. Moreover, Deng averaged more minutes per game (37.9) than ever before, just beating out 2006-07's average of 37.5. Those two feats alone very likely made him a value for owners who drafted him late. Deng also made modest, but notable, improvements in three-pointers (32 made on 38.6% shooting) and blocks (0.9 per game versus a career average of 0.6). Those types of things are important, as even slight gains in low-total cats like these can create deceptively large increases in value. The question is whether those improvements are sustainable. Only 25, Deng is at an age where little bumps in production are more likely to be representative of genuine growth. But with power forward Carlos Boozer – i.e. a legitimate number-two scoring option after Derrick Rose – Deng's role in the offense could diminish somewhat.
Two seasons after Deng gained notoriety as the player the Bulls seemed unwilling to trade for Kobe Bryant, he’ll have to pick himself back up after injury-riddled, disappointing campaigns. Deng’s numbers have dropped dramatically since his breakout third season, to the point where he is likely to be undervalued in most roto drafts. He has nice bounce-back potential this season, though, because with Ben Gordon gone Deng should be the primary scoring option for the Bulls. Also, rookie-of-the-year Derrick Rose has established himself as a point guard to be reckoned with who can break down opposing defenses at will. As such, Deng should get many open midrange jumpers next season which plays to his strength. Deng maintained his strong rebounding pace even with his injury struggles and has seven rebound-per-game potential. Just keep in mind he’s averaged 26 missed games due to injury over the past two years.
Some analysts will tell you Chicago’s 2007-08 season fell apart due to uncertainty over Luol Deng’s status with the team. That shouldn’t be a problem this year – Deng just signed a lucrative six-year contract extension; it’s clear that he and Derrick Rose are two of the cornerstones of a franchise that could rebuild in a hurry. Deng is a highly skilled offensive player, with an excellent mid-range game and the size and strength to play in the paint. He doesn’t have the stunning athleticism you’ll see from some other NBA threes, which some critics say limits his potential. We’ll agree that he probably isn’t the superstar/number one option type. Luckily for the Bulls, Derrick Rose is. As Rose develops, Deng’s numbers should improve. Look for Deng to better last season’s numbers (17.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and to become a stronger fantasy option as the season goes on.
The conditions are perfect for Deng to make the leap into the top tier of fantasy forwards this season. He’s got the size. He’s got the skill – including a developing array of low-post moves and a dynamite mid-range game. And most of all, he’s on a team that’s virtually devoid of scorers. Chicago has three players – Deng, Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich, who can legitimately be called scoring threats. Gordon is notoriously erratic. Hinrich is a distributor. Deng is the only one suited to play on the inside; he could very well become the low-post scoring threat that the Bulls have needed for years. For that reason, it’s expected that he’ll be able to hold off any challenges from the likes of the now-healthy Andres Nocioni, second-year man Tyrus Thomas or veteran Joe Smith and become Chicago’s primary offensive option.
Bulls coach Scott Skiles’ decision to play small ball last year was probably the best thing that could’ve happened to Luol Deng. Instead of competing for minutes with Andres Nocioni at small forward, Deng at 6-9, played some small forward and power forward and put up solid numbers toward the end of last season. Deng averaged 16.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals after the All-Star break. It remains unclear what his role will be this year as the Bulls won’t have to go small as much this year with the acquisitions of Ben Wallace and Tyrus Thomas. Deng will most likely start the season backing up Andres Nocioni at small forward, but will most likely see time at power forward and even shooting guard. If he plays 30-plus minutes a night, he should put up fantasy-worthy points and rebound numbers.
Deng befitting a rookie, had stretches where he was unstoppable, and others where he seemed lost on the court. While on the floor, he seemed best suited to playing small forward, from where he was able to best use his multiple skills on the open floor. Deng can handle the ball, grab a rebound in traffic, block a shot, hit the open man, and play tough defense but needs work on his shooting range, as he is only effective from about 16 feet and in. His rookie campaign was cut short by two injuries; a sprained right ankle in early-March, which cost him 10 games, and then a week after he returned, a ligament tear in his right wrist that required season-ending surgery on April 12, which required him to wear a cast for six-to-eight weeks, followed by three-to-six months of rehabilitation. Deng is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season and should slide back into the starting small forward spot, while seeing time at two-guard and power forward. Look for a slight increase in his numbers across the board in a solid sophomore season.
Deng is a do-it-all, smart player who isn't off the charts with any given tool, but can flat-out play. Translated to fantasy terms, he lacks the selfishness to score tons on a team with other options and has the kind of complete game that could slip through the statistical cracks. Or he's a budding Scottie Pippen. Chicago offers a team not locked into its roles, but it's most likely, with Argentine star Andres Nocioni now signed and competing for time, that Deng develops not into a stat hog, but the intangibles -glue that keeps this team together.
He's the complete package. Deng has it all. Athleticism, an NBA-ready body, quickness, fundamentals, a nice shooting touch and a great feel for the game. Deng is an unselfish player who can handle the ball, nail the mid-range jumper, grab a rebound in traffic or lock down an opponent in crunch time. His long arms and nice vertical leap make him play much longer than his height. The comparisons to Grant Hill are obvious, but his game more resembles a player like Andrei Kirilenko. Deng might be the best small forward prospect in the draft, who will most likely be a top 4 pick. Look for the Bulls to take him with their number 3 pick.
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