I was sleeping on a Cleveland couch at 1:00 AM when the text from Cleveland Jackson of Stepienrules.com came (you might know him on twitter as @WayneEmbrysKids). "Jack" is a friend and his infectious enthusiasm for the Cavs is one of my favorite things. What did his text say?
I reached over for my laptop and got it going and pulled up the twitter machine. The Cavaliers had acquired Luol Deng! It was pretty cool. Conrad and Sam are younger than I am and got the immediate articles up. I went back to bed (couch?).
So that's how I found out about the deal. How do the players themselves find out? It's remarkably similar.
I asked C.J. Miles how he heard about the trade going through:
I was awake but I didn't ... I got text messages that let me know, I looked on twitter because everybody was hitting me up. I saw our, you know the Cavs twitter account tweet it out and I was like ok this is real.
Miles went on to talk about what Deng can bring to Cleveland:
Great defender, great cutter off the ball. Offensively he can score, he showed that with Derrick Rose out. Midrange guy, good post guy when he gets a small guy on him ... he hasn't shot the 3 well this year, but he can make shots, offensively he's not a slouch ... he fits. I think he fits anywhere.
I was intrigued that Miles basically had the entire scouting report on Deng down, even to the detail that he was aware of Deng's shooting struggles, so I asked him the simple question of how he knew that:
That was one of the big things we wanted to know coming in to the game against him ... we wanted to make him shoot more long jump shots than anything.
Kyrie Irving was asked if Deng will be the type of player that can teach a young Cavs team to be more professional:
Well, yeah I've been learning on the fly for three years. I'm only 21. Great locker room guy. Can take things not only from his game, but his work ethic off the court. We aren't expecting him to just come out and be vocal right away ... we want to give him some room to grow with us.
DAMN! RT @DavidZavac: Kyrie was asked if Cavs can learn from Deng's professionalism: "Yea, I've been learning on the fly for three years."— Amin Elhassan (@AminESPN) January 9, 2014
I also talked to Anderson Varejao following the win over Philadelphia 76ers to see what he had to say about Deng:
Luol Deng is a vet. Everybody respects him in this league. He works hard. Pretty sure he's going to help this team a lot.
So there you have it folks. The Cavs are excited to get the All-Star Luol Deng in the fold. He will see his first action in the Wine & Gold tomorrow night against the Utah Jazz.