It came right up to the deadline but Andrew Bynum is no longer a Cavalier. On January 7, Sports Illustrated reported that Luol Deng has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Andrew Bynum and multiple draft picks.
The Bulls will not be keeping Bynum and look to clear up a good amount of cap space by waiving him before his contract payment of $6.2 million comes due. They do benefit from three draft picks also acquired in the trade.
This will definitely benefit the Chicago Bulls rebuild, as their season was blown due to another unfortunate Derrick Rose injury.
In contrast with Andrew Bynum's mediocre performance as of late, Luol Deng has been playing at all-star quality. Deng is putting up 19 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists on average per game. He is also in the last year of his contract and will be looking for a better one when he enters free agency. The Cavs are in position to give him more money.
The Chicago Bulls were able to free up almost $15 million and move out of luxury-tax territory by giving up Luol Deng. This is actually a smart move in his final contract year when they have no hopes of winning a championship without Derrick Rose.
Now the real question is whether Andrew Bynum really wants to play basketball. After he clears waivers, another team will be able to pick him up. Rumor has it that the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers are possibly interested.
Any team picking up Andrew Bynum at this point would be taking a risk. He has a history of odd and/or bad behavior. The Cavs claim he just doesn't want to play basketball anymore. On the other hand, his history means that a team could likely get a great deal on him. Is it worth the risk?