April 23, 2014

NBA News: Cavs reportedly trade for Chicago’s Luol Deng

deng bullsAfter weeks of speculation, the Cavs have reportedly acquired Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst first tweeted out the news very late on Monday night. The Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd also has confirmed the story. (Windhorst has since acknowledged that young RealGM reporter Shams Charania actually was first to tweet.)

We’ll fill in all of the details here shortly. Stay tuned. Presumably, the deal is indeed for center Andrew Bynum for cap relief in Chicago.

Update 12:58 a.m. – Well, that didn’t take long. The Cavs have officially announced the terms of the deal, complete with Deng in uniform.

Chicago will indeed receive Bynum along with three future draft picks and the right to swap 2015 picks (lottery protected for the Cavs).

The three future picks are: 1) The Kings convoluted first-rounder1 acquired back in 2011; 2) Portland’s 2015 second-rounder; 3) Portland 2016 second-rounder. Both of the Trail Blazers selections were acquired during this year’s draft.

Trade Analysis — Wow. So nobody really saw that one coming at all. Within seconds, the Cavs had confirmed the reports and posted the exact terms. Luol Deng, 28, is a legitimate starter at small forward. He’s in the final year of his contract, which is worth $14.3 million this season. He is averaging a career-high 19 points and 6.9 rebounds in just over 37 minutes per game.

Deng will easily be the best small forward in the post-LeBron James era for the Cavaliers. He gives them a do-it-all presence on the wing, albeit one that’s not known for his outside shooting. He’ll certainly step in immediately and get 30 minutes per game, taking away wasted time from Alonzo Gee, Earl Clark, Anthony Bennett and those dreaded three-guard lineups.

There’s no doubt that adding Deng makes the Cleveland Cavaliers a better team today than they were yesterday. That’s all this move really is. The three draft picks and the swap are a relatively light price. The two Portland second-rounders could be meaningless, the theoretical Sacramento pick might never be actualized in the first round and a 2015 swap might not even happen in the Cavs do indeed struggle next season anyway.

The biggest issue is whether you preferred the Cavs to tank in 2013-14. Obviously, that was never a option for GM Chris Grant. So he pulled off a big move for the biggest possible upgrade. Deng is an old 28, but he’ll make this Cavs team undoubtedly better this season. After that? It’s anybody’s guess what might happen.

[Related: Cavalier Film Room: The D-Waiters Zone and Stale Inbound Plays]

Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki, USA TODAY Sports

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Footnotes:

  1. The intense protection: top 13 in 2013; top 12 in 2014; top 10 in 2015-17; else 2017 second round pick, also protected 56-60 []

  • Steve

    Little of consequence given up for a good player. Though i still dont see much benefit in getting swept by the Heat or Pacers and middling around .500. We needed a second star and with Bennett busting, the best way to get one was getting another break in the lottery.

  • Lunch

    Mind. Blown.

    Pants. Moist.

    Now if the Cavs can sign him to a long term contract after the season.

  • Lunch

    If Deng turns out to be the missing piece that turns this team around, then I can see the following benefits for the Cavs:
    1. The young players get playoff experience. They will see how much more intensive playoff games are vs. regular season games, and will better prepare for them next season.
    2. Winning environment. Seriously do you really think Irving, Thompson, and Waiters would want to play on a team that’s been told to #TankStrong? (LOL!!) Would YOU want to play for 4 years on a team that’s been told to #TankStrong?
    3. Chris Grant. If this trade works out, then it would be foolish for Dan Gilbert to get rid of him.

  • whosevelt

    Wonderful move. Wow, it’s so nice to have a breath of fresh air from a Cleveland team. I’m tempted to stop following now so I can go out on a high note.

  • boomhauertjs

    I like it. 2nd rounders don’t mean much and with the Kings perpetual crappiness, that pick may never end up being a 1st rounder. Sure, I’d like a shot at one of the top prospects in the draft, but it would also be nice to start establishing a winning mindset. At least it makes the Cavs interesting again…

  • mgbode

    Best case scenario for the Bynum deal. At worst, Deng provides the veteran leadership that this team desperately needs. We have to develop an identity and a culture and Deng is a great guy to help forge them. At best, we sign Deng long-term and he becomes our premier wing defender allowing Kyrie to do what he does on offense more. Also, Mike Brown likely fell asleep in a puddle of joyful tears last night.

  • JHop

    Regardless of whether or not Deng resigns, this is a something for nothing deal that benefits the Cavs.

    Bynum was going to get cut no matter what. Those two second rounders would most likely have amounted into nothing. And who are we kidding? The Cavs were never going to get to use that conditional first rounder from Sacramento because the Kings are, well, the Kings.

  • stryker1121

    The ambition is admirable but in the best case scenario (Deng signing long-term) does this deal make us into the Atlanta Hawks? If all that cap space is used to sign Deng only then I’m not going to be thrilled w/ this move.

  • Natedawg86

    Money talks

  • Pat Leonard

    You’ve been listening to too much AC/DC.

  • mgbode

    Hell’s Bells, he’s a Problem Child and Shook Me All Night Long with Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. He’ll Walk All Over You if you’re Thunderstruck as It’s a Long Way to the Top when you Shoot to Thrill with a Big Gun and T.N.T.

    Who Made Who? He’s Back in Black, a Live Wire, and Hard as a Rock, so Let’s Get it Up and Ride On and Have a Drink on Me!

  • Pat Leonard

    Impressive!

  • Natedawg86

    You’re on a Highway to Hell, or Jailbreak, if you think You Shook me all Night long For Those About to Rock. Its just a Touch Too Much in Sin City when you have Guns for Hire, Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be, but She’s Got Balls, Big Balls, you don’t want to Go Down, Ain’t no Fun!

  • Natedawg86

    I tried not to repeat any

  • mgbode

    Shook Me is the only repeat, but a worthy repeat it is.

  • Steve

    I definitely see the upside, but I won’t go as far as saying “missing piece”. He’s a nice addition in a hole we desperately needed to fill. I’ll be frustrated if they need to see a playoff round before they figure out how to bust their butts though. They’ve been getting whooped on by most of the league for a while now, they shouldn’t need to get spanked 4-0 by a legit team before they realize what kind of work they need to put in.

    Irving, Waiters, and Thompson aren’t being forced to #TankStrong, they’re just not good enough on their own to win any more games.

  • Steve

    I think big money long term to a guy like Deng may not be the best case scenario.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    As will Deng’s health which is his achilles heel!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The Cavaliers needed something like this now I just hope Deng’s health holds out.