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Cavs acquire Deng from Bulls for Bynum, picks

The SportsXchange

With the Bulls' championship chances looking dim due to guard Derrick Rose's latest knee injury, Chicago traded All-Star forward Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.

In return, the Bulls received three draft picks and center Andrew Bynum, and officially placed him on waivers Tuesday. Yahoo Sports reported Deng rejected a three-year, $30 million contract offer from the Bulls before he was dealt.

"We have worked to acquire and maintain flexibility in order to capitalize on opportunities such as this," Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant said. "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."

The Bulls received Bynum, Cleveland's rights to the Sacramento Kings' first-round draft pick, the right for Chicago to swap its own 2015 first-round draft pick with the Cavs own 2015 first-round draft pick (top 14 protected) and the Portland Trail Blazers' 2015 and 2016 second-round draft picks acquired by the Cavaliers in a 2013 draft night trade.

"We have great respect for Luol Deng, as a player and a person," general manager Gar Forman said of the deal in a statement. "He has been an incredible contributor to our team on the court, and he has also done great things in the community. On behalf of the entire Bulls organization, I want to thank Luol for his years in Chicago."

Had Bynum remained on Chicago's roster after 5 p.m. Tuesday, he would have been guaranteed more than $6 million for the remainder of the season. Dealing away Deng and then waiving Bynum creates a $15 million savings for the Bulls and get them under the salary cap. The Bulls are also reportedly considering using the amnesty provision to release forward Carlos Boozer, but making that move now would not immediately benefit the cap or luxury tax situations for the Bulls. Boozer's salary would still be paid and be on the books for two seasons.

If Bynum goes unclaimed, he becomes a free agent and is reportedly targeting the Miami Heat as a destination.

Bynum, 26, was suspended indefinitely by the Cavaliers on Saturday after an incident at Friday's practice. The 7-footer is averaging 8.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 24 games this season.

Deng, 28, missed nine games in December due to an Achilles injury. He returned to average 15.7 points over his final three games with the Bulls.

In 23 games this season, Deng is averaging 19 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists. The figures all compare favorably to his career norms: 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists.

He was an All-Star each of the previous two seasons, and he made the NBA's All-Defensive second team in 2011-12.
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