The Cleveland Cavaliers made the most of trading unmotivated center Andrew Bynum, dealing him to the Chicago Bulls for All-Star forward Luol Deng early Tuesday morning.
In addition to Bynum, the Bulls also acquired the Sacramento Kings' 2014 first-round pick (protected 1-12), the Portland Trail Blazers 2015 and '16 second-round picks and the right to swap first-round picks with the Cavaliers in 2015 if the Cavs' pick is outside the top 14.
Bynum, who has shown little motivation to continue his injury-riddled basketball career this season, has been waived by the Bulls ahead of a 5 p.m. ET Tuesday deadline when the final $6 million of his $12 million salary for this season becomes guaranteed.
"We are very excited for Luol to join the Cavaliers organization, " Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant said in a statement. "We have worked to acquire and maintain flexibility in order to capitalize on opportunities such as this. 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."
Deng, 28, is making $14.3 million in the final season of his contract with the Bulls and has been seeking a lucrative extension. He is averaging 19 points and 6.9 rebounds in 23 games this season.
The Cavaliers suspended Bynum for conduct detrimental to the team on Dec. 28. Cleveland viewed Bynum as a "disruptive" presence within the team and lost hope that he could return, sources said. Bynum often expressed a lack of desire to play and practice. He expressed frustration about his knee problems and was even convinced by the Cavaliers not to quit, sources said.
Bynum signed a two-year deal worth $24.8 million with the Cavs last offseason. Only $6 million of his $12.2 million salary was guaranteed if he was waived before Tuesday. Other NBA teams that met with Bynum during his free agency last summer were concerned about his desire to play.
Bynum, 26, averaged 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 19.5 minutes in 24 games with the Cavaliers. He won two championships with the Los Angeles Lakers but has missed repeated time throughout his career because of knee injuries. He did not play a single game for the Philadelphia 76ers last season after they acquired him from the Lakers.
Bynum will become an unrestricted free agent if he clears waivers.
The Cavaliers also had discussions about trading Bynum for Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol, a source said. Gasol is in the last year of his contract paying him $19.2 million. Cleveland felt the Lakers’ asking price for Gasol was too high and finding a starting small forward in Deng addresses the team's biggest weakness.
The Cavaliers had acquired the Kings' and Blazers' picks in previous deals.
Real GM's Shams Charania first reported the trade.