Cavaliers Acquire Luol Deng For Bynum, Picks

The Cavaliers and Bulls have reached an agreement on a trade that will send Luol Deng to Cleveland in exchange for Andrew Bynum and draft picks, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (via Twitter).’s Brian Windhorst confirms that the Cavs have acquired Deng (Twitter link), while team owner Dan Gilbert also tweeted confirmation of the deal, welcoming Deng to Cleveland.
NBA: Chicago Bulls at Detroit Pistons
According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link), the Bulls will receive a first-round pick and a pair of second-rounders from the Cavs in the swap, in addition to Bynum. The first-rounder will be the Kings’ 2014 pick, which is top-12 protected, while the second-rounders will be Portland’s 2015 and 2016 picks, according to an official release from the Cavs. The Bulls will also have the rights to swap first-rounders with the Cavs in 2015, but only if Cleveland’s pick doesn’t fall in the lottery, tweets Lloyd.

Although the Cavs will surrender a handful of draft picks in the deal, the move fills a giant need for the team, with Deng assuming a starting small forward role that has changed hands several times since LeBron James left for Miami in 2010. The Cavs also find a taker for Bynum, who had fallen out of favor in Cleveland, and was being shopped to the Lakers and Jazz, among other teams. So for now, Pau Gasol and Richard Jefferson will remain in L.A. and Utah, respectively, though both veterans are on expiring deals and could be involved in more trade rumors before February 20th’s deadline.

As for the Bulls, several recent reports had indicated that the team was reluctant to move Deng, still believing that he could be re-signed next summer. However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), the 28-year-old turned down a three-year, $30MM extension offer from Chicago last week, which was a prelude to this trade. The deal gives the Bulls the opportunity to dip below the tax this season and to add future assets, as well as greatly increasing the odds that the club will land a prime spot in the 2014 draft lottery.

Assuming the Bulls officially waive Bynum on Tuesday, as ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell confirms they will (Twitter link), the team will shed $8.275MM in payroll by paying Bynum’s $6MM guarantee rather than Deng’s $14.275MM salary. According to ShamSports’ salary figures for Chicago, that would reduce team payroll to about $71.01MM, giving the club a little breathing room below the $71.748MM luxury tax line.

The long-term ramifications of the deal will be worth keeping an eye on over the next several months. While the Cavs’ dream scenario for the summer of 2014 is believed to revolve around bringing LeBron back to Cleveland, the team will now have a very viable alternative in Deng, with his Bird rights in hand heading into free agency.

For the Bulls, coach Tom Thibodeau may not be entirely on board with the trade, since he was considered Deng’s biggest fan. A December report also indicated that Derrick Rose wasn’t eager to go through a rebuilding process in Chicago, so it’ll be interesting to see how aggressively the team retools during the offseason, perhaps amnestying Carlos Boozer and bringing Nikola Mirotic stateside.

Meanwhile, Chicago now technically holds the rights to three 2014 first-rounders: Their own pick, the Bobcats’ pick, and the Kings’ pick. However, the latter two are heavily protected. Charlotte’s first-round pick is top-10 protected in 2014, top-eight protected in 2015, and unprotected in 2016. Sacramento’s first-rounder is top-10 protected in 2015, 2016, and 2017, after being top-12 protected this season. If the pick doesn’t change hands by 2017, Chicago would receive the Kings’ 2017 second-rounder instead.

If and when the Bulls waive Bynum, he’ll likely go unclaimed on waivers, meaning he’ll be eligible to sign with any team besides the Cavs as soon as this week. The Clippers and Heat are believed to be among his preferred destinations.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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19 thoughts on “Cavaliers Acquire Luol Deng For Bynum, Picks

  1. metsmaniac755

    PG: Kyrie Irving
    SG: Dion Waiters
    SF: Loul Deng
    PF: Tristan Thompson
    C: Anderson Verejao

    Pretty nice cavs

  2. omar jimenez

    this is bad trade for chicago. they’re receiving too many protected picks. I think they could have held out longer for somthing better. I know they want to save money, which is why they’ll waive bynum, but this team takes a huge step back. They have trouble scoring points, and it’ll only get harder.

    • TigerFan1968

      That is the whole point. Score fewer points. Lose more games. Waive Boozer and a lottery pick is within reach. Without Rose,Boozer,Deng the Bulls are only better than Milwaukee in my opinion. They still have fifty more games to lose. This is a lose,lose,keep losing and then Win situation.

  3. Z....

    Should be interesting to see what the Bulls do with all of their cap room in the offseason. I personally thought they should have resigned Deng at $12 million AAV, amnesty Boozer, and build around a core of Rose, Deng, Butler, Noah, Gibson, Mirotic. That core is good enough to contend, and by amnestying Boozer, it opens up money to be given for added depth or to extend someone if needed. It would also keep the defensive principles they built in the organization. If Mirotic is anything close to what he is being talked about being, thats even better for them and makes them a championship contender…Instead, they’ll free up the cap space by losing Deng and waiving Bynum (to lower their proximity to the luxury tax for this year), and amnestying Boozer, and then go from there. They technically could still resign Deng (unless I’m mistaken?), and then there are a multitude of options on the free agent market that they can go after with their cap space. They’ll have to hope to get a bit lucky with the protected draft picks they received in this deal, as well as getting a good spot themselves in this year’s draft, Mirotic being what everyone is expecting, and someone like Tony Snell developing, as well as Derrick Rose coming back healthy and productive obviously…I like this deal for Cleveland if they can resign Deng. He’ll provide leadership and quality at a spot they needed to fill, and he should be important in instilling a more defensive presence on that team. Hopefully, he’ll also cause Kyrie Irving to take less shots, elevating his performance, as well as Dion Waiters’.

  4. ReneNYM1

    I verified my email what do you guys want my blood to write here,comeon already

  5. Rizzo44

    This was terrible on the bulls part. They trade their best player for nothing. The draft picks won’t be any good because the kings will make the playoffs

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