LUOL DENG: 9TH MAN?
Call me crazy. But who would you rather have play more minutes right now: Luol Deng or Tim Thomas? Or an even better question: Salmons or Deng?
In my opinion, there isn’t anything that Deng can do that they can’t. But when you flip it, there are some things they can do that Deng can’t. Deng is fairly one-dimensional, while both Thomas and Salmons are versatile scorers.
As for defense, I think Deng is a poor one-on-one defender. Most 3s can take him off the dribble. I’ve read conflicting reports on Salmons and haven’t seen him enough to comment one way or the other. He certainly is more athletic than Deng. Thomas on defense? His best attribute may be that he’s 6’10″.
This is not to say Deng shouldn’t play. I’m just saying when you really look at it, he possibly should be the 8th or 9th man in the rotation behind Miller, Salmons and possibly Hinrich.