Luol Deng signs one-day contract with Bulls, retires after 15 seasons

Luol Deng is ending his NBA career after 15 seasons and retiring with the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/chicago/" data-ylk="slk:Chicago Bulls">Chicago Bulls</a>. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Luol Deng is ending his NBA career after 15 seasons and retiring with the Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Luol Deng’s NBA career has come to an end. After 15 seasons, Deng has decided to retire. The Chicago Bulls, the team that drafted him 7th overall in 2004, announced the news on Thursday shortly after Deng signed a ceremonial one-day contract so he could retire with his very first team.

Deng, 34, spent the majority of his career with the Bulls. He played for them for nine-plus seasons, earning two trips to the All-Star Game and averaging 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists on 46 percent shooting. He went to the playoffs with the Bulls six times, and seven times overall. The Bulls traded Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the middle of the 2013-2014 season.

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Deng played for the Cavaliers for just that partial season. Following that short stint, he played two seasons with the Miami Heat, two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and one season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Over 902 career games, Deng averaged 14.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 34.3 minutes per game. He’s near the top of the Bulls’ all-time career leaders list in several categories — he’s fourth in points with 10,286, fifth in minutes with 22,822, fifth in steals with 639, sixth in games played at 637 and sixth in defensive rebounds with 2,969. This is just a partial list, as he’s in the top 10 in numerous other categories.

Bulls president and chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf was effusive about Deng’s decision to retire as a Bull and about Deng as a person.

“We’re very fortunate and humbled that Luol has chosen to retire as a Chicago Bull. He was a role model on and off the court during his nine-plus years in Chicago, and he gave everything he had to help us win. I want to thank Luol for not only what he accomplished on the court for the team, but also for the leadership he demonstrated through his philanthropic efforts.”

The Bulls announced that Deng would be honored at a game during the upcoming season, with the date still to be determined.

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