Well it seems Andrew Bynum is no longer a disappointing figure in Cleveland. According to multiple reports, the Cleveland Cavaliers have traded center Andrew Bynum and draft picks to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for forward Luol Deng.
Multiple sources reported the news but it was Brian Windhorst of ESPN who provided multiple details.
As you can see, there is plenty to like or dislike about this deal but it all depends on how you look at it.
For the Cavaliers this is a good move because they cut ties with Bynum. He hasn’t been productive, only averaging eight points, five rebounds and one block per game. Now fortunately for the Cavaliers, they didn’t invest much guaranteed money in Bynum but it doesn’t change the fact that their happy to rid of him.
When it comes to acquiring a Luol Deng, it’s not surprising. It has been reported multiple times that the Cavaliers have been looking to fill their small forward position for some time and with this trade they gain a small forward. Luol Deng has been consistently productive this season averaging 19 points, six rebounds and three assists per game. Now I know some feel this is a bad move because Deng is known to be injury prone which is completely understandable but don’t forget that Deng can be a nice piece to a team when healthy. He is one of the better perimeter defenders of the NBA, he has solid experience and good character which is always good in a leader, plus he knows how to score in various ways. Remember that Deng is in the final season of a $14.3 million contract, so if he works well for the Cavaliers this season, they could easily offer him a nice contract extension since they will have nice cap space available. If for whatever reason he doesn’t work well for them or he doesn’t want to re-sign with the Cavaliers, they could easily let his contract expire which will give them more cap room.
As far as the Bulls go in this trade, I feel they walk a way with a nice deal.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, “Chicago will waive Bynum by 5 p.m. on Tuesday and clear his $12.3 million salary off their books. That will enable the Bulls to get below the luxury tax and, combined with the savings from not having to pay Deng the balance of his $14.3 million salary, will save the team in excess of $20 million.”
Plus I like the fact, that the Bulls get a nice amount of picks in this situation, they receive a pair of second round picks and a first-round pick previously acquired from the Sacramento Kings. So overall, this trade will provide with Bulls with a chance to improve their team in the draft and save them some money so that they can make moves in free agency as well.
I know there are some mixed feeling about Deng being traded but you have to remember that Deng didn’t want to be there. During the off-season, the Bulls did their best to sign Deng to a contract extension but contract talks were constantly stalled. Then it was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that the Bulls attempted to keep Deng by offering him a contract extension last week:
Obviously he didn’t take it and that’s his choice. So for those fans upset that he was traded, I advise you to not be mad at Chicago, they did all they could to keep him, Deng didn’t want to be part of this franchise any longer. Honestly, this move doesn’t hurt the Bulls, it helps them. I have said it many times before that the Bulls aren’t far away from being a legit contender. They have a nice “Big Three” already in Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah, if the Bulls continue to get rid of unnecessary pieces like Deng and Boozer and add shooting and power forward to their starting line-up along with more consistent role players they are in a good place. They can do all of that this off-season, they are set to have a nice amount of draft picks in this year’s draft plus they will have the opportunity to acquire legit free agents as well.
If you ask me, the success of this trade will be based on what the Bulls and Cavaliers do in the future. Basically meaning that the Bulls have a chance to improve their team with this trade but if they don’t make good decisions in the draft and sign the right players, this deal doesn’t mean much but if they do, it works well for them. Same thing for the Cavaliers when it comes to Luol Deng. Only time will tell.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
Listen to LBeasley’s Radio Show, “Sports Talk with L-Beasley” every Mon, Wed & Fri from 6-8pm (ET) on LBeasley.com