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.
Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki, USA TODAY Sports
- 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 [↩]