The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to send center Andrew Bynum, along with three future draft picks to the Chicago Bulls for forward Luol Deng.
The Cavs have been in continuous trade talks for several weeks with the Los Angeles Lakers about swapping 7-Footers and sending Bynum back to LA and receiving Power Forward Pau Gasol, neither sides could come to an agreement due to the lack of Draft Picks being offered by the Cavs. The Cavs were also in trade talks with the Utah Jazz by sending Bynum contract for Forward Richard Jefferson. This comes timely for the Cavs as the second half of Bynum’s $12.3 million contract would have become guaranteed Tuesday night.
The overall winner of the trade is hard to tell, yes the Cavs get the small-forward they desperately needed, but the Bulls also get rid of about $15 million in salary and luxuries which puts them below the salary cap threshold after Bynum is cut by 5 P.M. Tuesday Night. Bulls are putting themselves in good salary cap standings for the summer of 2014 which looks to have a big free agent class. Bulls also get a first-round pick that they received from the Sacramento Kings which is a protected top-10 pick for the next two NBA Drafts.
The Cavs also send two second round pick that are owned by the Portland Trailblazers. The Bulls have the right to swap their first round pick with the Cavs for the 2015 draft just as long the Cavs do not have a lottery pick. Deng would be the first All-Star to start as Small forward since Lebron James took his talents to Miami in 2010. Deng, a two-time All Star is averaging a career best 19 points per game while Bynum is averaging a mere 8.5 points per game.
By completing this deal, the speculations of the return of LeBron James dim down a tad, that is if Deng wants to sign an extension stay in Cleveland. He’s looking for a contract similar to the one All-Star Guard Andre Iguodala received from Golden State Warriors which pays him roughly $12 million each year for the next four seasons. Cleveland also looks to make a playoff run and end their 3 year hiatus from postseason play by providing another scoring threat to take some of the pressure off of their young guns Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters
Number 19 is believed to be the number that Deng will wear while in Cleveland, Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova currently wears number 9.