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Cavaliers trade Andrew Bynum to Chicago Bulls for Luol Deng

Jan 7, 2014, 1:30 AM EDT

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Not only was Luol Deng on the trade market, the Chicago Bulls had a taker — the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Chicago Bulls have agreed to trade Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum and a first round pick (the Kings’ pick owned by the Cavs that is top 12 protected this season, top 10 protected the next couple), the teams have announced. This was a story broken by Shams Charania of Real GM and quickly confirmed by Brian Windhorst of ESPN and Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com.

“We have great respect for Luol Deng, as a player and a person. He has been an incredible contributor to our team on the court, and he has also done great things in the community. On behalf of the entire Bulls organization, I want to thank Luol for his years in Chicago. The moves made today will put us in a better position to make the entire roster stronger for the future and to compete for a championship,” said Bulls GM Gus Forman in a statement released by the team.

Deng had rejected a three-year, $30 million extension from the Bulls last week, reports Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. That made the Bulls think he was leaving this summer as a free agent, so they wanted to get something for him.

The Cavs had wanted to upgrade at the three and get a guy who could help them make a push toward the playoffs in the East — Deng gives them a real chance at that (although it’s going to take more than just Deng to get them there, Kyrie Irving has to be healthy and better). The Cavaliers are just three games out of the playoffs in the East so the playoffs remain a reasonable goal. The real risk for them is that they are unable to re-sign free agent to be Deng this summer — if he walks this is a little bit of a loss, but not really a big one because the Cavs would have waived Bynum themselves. This was a solid gamble.

The Bulls will waive Bynum Tuesday and with that save $15 million this season to get under the luxury tax. As we have noted before, if they now amnesty Carlos Boozer this summer (as expected) the Bulls will have about $10 million at least cap space to go after another free agent to go with a core of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler. Plus Bulls management believes Nikola Mirotic (who is still playing well in Europe but is expected to be in the NBA next season) will be a big part of that future. The Bulls now also potentially have the Sacramento pick in this draft (top 12 protected, so the Bulls probably don’t get it it this year) and Charlotte’s first rounder (top 10 protected) not to mention their own pick to add some depth to that core.

While Rose’s people have leaked he doesn’t want to be part of a rebuilding process, this isn’t a full “tear it down” rebuild, by the time he returns this will be a good and potentially very good team.

This shows why the Cavaliers were not willing to throw in another pick or piece in talks with the Lakers — they had coveted Deng more than Pau Gasol and were willing to give up more to get him.

  1. indrathegod - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Now.. I wouldn’t say that Jerry is cheap, rather he is very selective in when he feels money should be spent. Period. If it’s not a clear winner, he’s not buying in.

    That being said, the Cavs are the winners here. Giving up a 1st round pick which is protected (not to mention I think they are tired of being ‘lottery driven’), getting rid of Bynum the nuisance, and getting a solid second-tier player in Deng makes it all worth it for a team 3 spots from being the 8th seed a third or so into the season. I believe Deng will thrive under Brown and will fit his system quite well especially with Browns defensive schemes. It will be a good trial period for both Deng and the Cavs, with the Cavs having him off the books if he chooses to go elsewhere with the option to sign a FA. Not to mention, I really like Irving/Deng (on paper), and maybe it will even inspire Waiters to get hisself together and realize at some point that he is a professional athlete.

    For the Bulls, I have several concerns. First off, we can clearly see that the reason Boozer has yet to be amnestied lies in the fact that he had a great year last season, and with Rose out he really is their first scoring option. When he does well, they do well. When you’ve come to the point that Dunleavy takes 20+ shots in a game, something is terribly, terribly wrong. Boozer is playing at a high-level for them right now in regards to consistency and they need that. It is a bonus that they will avoid the luxury tax, but it looks like the beginning of a full rebuilding mode for the Bulls. They still are unable to go after a max player without putting their eggs all in one basket, and let’s not forget Butlers rookie contract won’t last forever and he’s quite the developing talent.

    Winner, Cavs.

    • bougin89 - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      Completely agree. Well put.

  2. csbanter - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    What exactly are the cavs trying to accomplish ? Deng is not going to re up with them. Deng should sign with Miami this summer just to bug the bulls. Deng would be a perfect fit for Lakers and D’antoni system.

  3. goodknave - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    This is idiotic on the part of the Cavs. They’ve chosen to pass on the Lottery in order to be first-round cannon fodder for Miami or Indiana. Deng won’t re-sign unless he is grossly overpaid, so this is utterly pointless.

    Just because Bennett, Thompson, and Waiters aren’t good doesn’t mean all lottery picks aren’t good. Cavs should be tanking aggressively, and this just gets in the way.

  4. 00maltliquor - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    Greg Oden upon hearing about the trade and the inevitable Bynum cut: “Oh, wait a minute guys, hmmm…I’m feeling much better now. Ain’t that something. I feel like I’m ready to play and contribute some good minutes now. I’m at 100%”

  5. herkulease - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    This is hilarious. the Cavs supposedly refuse to throw in Waiters with Bynum for Gasol but are willing to give up plenty to help a team in their OWN conference.

    The Lakers saving money has no direct effect on the Cavs playoffs and championship aspirations. They would still have to battle all the teams in the west before reach the finals and possibly beating the Cavs.

    The Bulls on the other hand can easily prevent the Cavs from reaching the playoffs for years to come.

    • bougin89 - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      “This is hilarious. the Cavs supposedly refuse to throw in Waiters with Bynum for Gasol but are willing to give up plenty to help a team in their OWN conference.”

      The Cavs only saved the Bulls money in the form of luxury tax for this season.

      “The Bulls on the other hand can easily prevent the Cavs from reaching the playoffs for years to come.”

      How? The Bulls are worse for this trade. This pretty much means they are going to start a rebuild.

      The Cavs(at least on paper) have improved. They won’t miss the 2 2nd round picks they gave up. The Kings have to make the playoffs for the Bulls to have a real chance of actually getting their first round pick. It doesn’t look like they are making the playoffs anytime soon.

      The Bulls could have gotten more for Deng around the trade deadline in terms of actual basketball value. They chose to save money instead.

  6. indrathegod - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    I didn’t know a protected 1st and two second round picks plus Bynum is ‘giving plenty away’….what a joke.

  7. indrathegod - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    @bougin89, couldn’t agree more.

  8. indrathegod - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Let’s be honest here.

    It is indeed true that Kobe did in some way ‘stunt’ Bynum’s growth however, Kobe has absolutely nothing to do with Bynum’s lack of love for the game, let alone his sole desire to crave attention in all of the wrong ways. Let’s not forget while Bynum was rehabbing prior to his return, he had several setbacks. One that sticks out like a sore thumb is his setback from bowling. Bowling. A professional athletes body is all they have, and he showed then that he could care less about basketball. And his career subsequent to his era with Kobe reflects as much.

    At least playing with Kobe he had no choice but to compete on a nightly basis, and even then at times he showed disinterest in the game. Just as he does now.

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