We knew the day was coming and we knew some of the potential suitors. It’s now been made official as the Andrew Bynum trade to the Chicago Bulls for Luol Deng has been finalized. Each team accomplished their goal, with the Bulls building for the future and the Cavaliers getting better immediately. Did the Bulls get the maximum return? Will the Cavs be able to re-sign Deng? Let’s take a look.
- Luol Deng (SF)
- Andrew Bynum (C)
- First Round Pick From Sacramento Kings (Top 12 Protected 2014, Top 10 Protected 2015-2017)
- Two Second Round Picks From Portland Trail Blazers (2015, 2016)
- Right to Switch First Round Picks With Cavaliers in 2015 (Top 14 Protected)
On the surface, it’s hard to say who wins this trade. Deng is a terrific defender who will do quite well playing next to Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Deng can create his own offense, but he was always much more efficient and effective when Derrick Rose was healthy. The problem with Deng is he’s battling an achilles injury, has a lot of miles on him and there’s no guarantee he’ll want to re-sign with the Cavs. Deng led the league in minutes per game each of the last two seasons and is ninth this season.
The Cavaliers are playoff contenders, but they’re not going to win the NBA Finals. It’s fully possible they are simply renting Deng, which would mean they gave picks away for the right to sneak into the 2014 playoffs.
The Bulls did better than if they had simply let Deng walk and they also save a lot financially. In pure money terms, they hit a home run. They did all they could to re-sign Deng, including reported deals of three and four years at $30 and $40 million, respectively. If Deng wanted to stay in Chicago, he could have.
As it stands, the Bulls receive value in draft picks, although none of them will fall in the top of the lottery. There’s a lot to be had in the middle of the first round for savvy teams. Still, we’re talking about a crap shoot as opposed to the sure thing that Deng provides. It looks like the Bulls are officially blowing it up for the year…wonder how Derrick Rose feels about that.
The fans couldn’t care less about the Bulls finances, but from an organizational standpoint, they won this trade. They get a lot of potential value in the way of picks and they save a lot from their bottom line. They weren’t going anywhere this year anyways and it was obvious Deng wanted to go elsewhere.
Note: Chicago is expected to waive Bynum. Look for another piece on the impact he’ll have later in the week on HoopsHabit.com.