COMMENTARY | Trading Luol Deng seemed inevitable. He was in the final year of his contract with the Chicago Bulls and seeking more money than the team was willing to offer after he rejected a three-year, $30 million extension.
However, the Bulls did not trade Deng in an effort to improve the team right now. He was dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Andrew Bynum, who will be waived, and several picks spanning across the next few NBA drafts. The Bulls essentially got no one in return for one of their All-Stars. This is a move clearly designed for the future, and signifies that the organization has officially thrown in the towel on this current year.
After losing Derrick Rose for the season, questions began to mount as to how the Bulls should respond. Considering the fact that top college players such as Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins may enter the upcoming draft, tanking seemed like a viable option. On the other hand, a proven resilient Bulls squad could have maintained competitiveness by simply acquiring a formidable veteran or two.
But why labor through mediocrity when you can possibly pair a healthy Derrick Rose with a potential superstar next season and become elite? This looks to be the current organizational mindset. Although, the Bulls were already a championship-caliber team with Rose, Deng, and Joakim Noah as the core.
Now, the "Big 3" is no more and the future is uncertain. Perhaps the window of opportunity was closing for the Bulls, and management made a timely decision. Either that or they grossly overplayed their hand. Time will tell.
Chicago was struggling mightily with Deng. Without him, the team is going nowhere fast. And with "tank mode" looking to be in full effect, the only question is, who's next?
Acamea Deadwiler is a Chicago-area native with several years experience covering the NBA, including the Chicago Bulls, for Examiner.com. She has also been featured in Bounce magazine, SLAM Online, and various other publications. Follow Acamea on Twitter @AcameaLD.
More from this contributor:
Chicago Bulls: To Tank or Not to Tank?
No Rest for the Weary: The Long Road to Recovery Just Got Longer for Derrick Rose
Chicago Bulls: Adjusting to Life Without Derrick Rose
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- Chicago Bulls
- Luol Deng
- Derrick Rose
- Andrew Bynum