In his weekly "Crossover" column, Joe Kaiser scours the league and offers his fantasy insight with the help of Insider's team of experts, including Kevin Pelton, Bradford Doolittle, Amin Elhassan, Chad Ford, Tom Haberstroh and David Thorpe. Also included is Joe's injury update chart.
In the Chicago Bulls' three-overtime loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, Luol Deng played played a whopping 56 minutes as the Bulls, without Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, were essentially reduced to a seven-man rotation.
Playing big minutes is nothing new for Deng; he led the NBA in minutes per game in 2011-12 (39.4) and again last season (38.7), and has averaged at least 37.9 mpg in each of the past five seasons.
Yet for whatever reason, Deng tends to be overlooked. Maybe it's because his game is more substance than style, or maybe it's because he's often regarded as a solid third option on a good team, which is never a flattering endorsement.