The Bulls held true on their stance of not trading Luol Deng, simply to save money in salary and luxury taxes, and found the best possible deal they could giving the two-time All-Star’s impending free agency this summer.
In a late-night deal on Monday, they agreed to send Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum and three future draft picks.
One pick is a first-round pick that is top 10 protected over the next two years, via the Sacramento Kings, plus two future second-round picks that belong to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Bulls will have the right to swap 2015 first-round picks with Cleveland as long as the Cavs’ pick is outside the lottery.
According to ESPNChicago, The Bulls are expected to waive Bynum by 5p.m. on Tuesday. By doing so, they will save more than $15 million in salary and luxury taxes because they would cut him before the second half of his $12.3 million contract becomes guaranteed, moving the team below the luxury tax.
"We have great respect for Luol Deng, as a player and a person. He has been an incredible contributor to our team on the court, and he has also done great things in the community," said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman in a statement released by the team. "On behalf of the entire Bulls organization, I want to thank Luol for his years in Chicago.
“The moves made today will put us in a better position to make the entire roster stronger for the future and to compete for a championship,”
According to Yahoo Sports, Deng rejected a three-year, $30 million extension offered by the Bulls last week, which was the prelude to the current move as the Cavs had long coveted Deng and the Bulls not wanting to risk the small forward leaving in the summer with them receiving nothing.
Deng is averaging 19 points and 6.3 rebounds on the season. He came to the Bulls in a draft-night trade with the Phoenix Suns in 2004. In 637 (591 starts) regular season contests, he holds career averages of 16.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 2.5 apg in 35.9 mpg.
He finishes his Bulls’ career as the franchises fourth-leading scorer behind Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Bob Love.