Report: Luol Deng Traded For Andrew Bynum & Picks

By: 01.07.14  •  4 Comments
Luol Deng

Luol Deng (Pat Lovell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls have agreed to a deal sending All-Star forward Luol Deng to Cleveland in exchange for Andrew Bynum and draft picks, tweeted ESPN’s Brian Windhorst last night. The deal drastically alters the fortunes of both franchises as the Cavs look to make a run to the playoffs and the Bulls take the inchoate step of a massive rebuild.

There had been strong indications Bynum would be back in Los Angeles as early as this past Sunday, since Cleveland coveted Pau Gasol, but those talks fell through. Then, it was suggested Utah’s Richard Jefferson might be involved in a deal for Bynum. But it was Deng who finally ended up being dealt for the Cavs big man.

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Here’s the official release from the Cavs:

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired All-Star forward Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for center Andrew Bynum, three future draft picks and the right to swap 2015 first round picks with the Cavs (1-14 protected), Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced tonight from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

“We are very excited for Luol to join the Cavaliers organization, ” said Grant. “We have worked to acquire and maintain flexibility in order to capitalize on opportunities such as this. Luol reflects all that we are striving for in building our team. He’s a tremendous defensive player that can impact the game on both ends of the court with a team first mentality and is a high character leader.”

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert welcomed Deng to town with a Tweet late last night:

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Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal has more on the picks heading to Chicago with Bynum, including the right to swap first round picks with the Cavs in 2015, though pick swap is lottery protected, and after 2015, the swap rights are done.

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Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports adds that Deng declined a three-year, $30 million extension last week, which hastened last night’s trade since the Bulls didn’t show any indication they wanted to pay market value for Deng this summer when he becomes a free agent.

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Woj adds in his column today that the Bulls balked at paying the $12-13 million market value for Deng this summer, so a trade made sense.

Don’t expect to see Bynum in a Bulls uniform, though. A league source tells Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago they will be waiving him before his $6 million option kicks in this year.

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Find out how the move helps both sides, but why it might also backfire.

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