The most important off season free agent signing according to Pat Riley may turn out to just be a 1 year rental instead.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Luol Deng doesn't know if he wants to exercise his player $10.1 million dollar player option for next season. Even though Deng loves Miami, he may be looking to opt out if it means he can get a similar deal like what he has now, but over multiple years.
Miami on the other hand, may not want to give him multiple years, especially at that price. As talented as Deng is, he's not the player who he once was, and you can blame Tom Thibodeau for that. Once Deng see's that the free agent market for him will be limited because everyone is waiting for Summer 2016, he most likely will just opt in and play another season in Miami. After 2016 he may have take a salary cut in order to be on a team.
So what are the options if Deng leaves? Well Miami is loaded in the front court so maybe trading one of our big men for a small forward might be possible. Or the Heat could use their $5.5 million mid level exception to find a temporary fix (Gerald Green anyone?) Miami could also look in house and hope to rely on James Ennis, who has recently been a spark on offense. The question will become if Ennis can play the same type of defense Deng can and if he is ready for such an upgraded role yet.
I believe Deng will be back. Deng probably believes he will be back too. He spent his whole career in Chicago, had one terrible experience in Cleveland and though this year in Miami has been difficult for all, the family experience is hard to leave. Unless you're name is LeBron of course.