It was a ticking time bomb.
Andrew Bynum apparently doesn’t want to play basketball anymore, and the Cleveland Cavaliers were set to deal him elsewhere. A trade was imminent, but what wasn’t so sure was the buyer. Well, around 1 o’clock in the morning, we received our answer.
The Cavs dealt Bynum and three future draft picks in exchange for small forward, Luol Deng. Good, now Bynum can go not play basketball in another city. Deng, who has battled injury to start this season, is averaging 19 points, 3.7 assist, 6.9 rebounds and one steal in 37.4 minutes per game this season. It’s a huge move for the Cavaliers, who have had the largest hole at any one position (SF) than any other team in basketball since LeBron James left. There are plenty of fantasy implications surrounding this deal, too.
None of which involving Bynum, who will more than likely just be waived by the Bulls, as they attempt to rebuild.
Meanwhile, Deng will fit nicely with the Cavs, providing star point guard Kyrie Irving his best weapon in his short career. As the Cavs push for the somehow possible playoff picture in the weak Eastern Conference, they’ll need Deng, and he’ll log all the minutes he can handle. Irving could see an increase an assist totals, but I don’t see Deng taking too many touches away from the skilled scorer. And head coach Mike Brown, a defensive-minded guy, will love Deng’s defensive approach, which may also help to defend opposing small forwards, something Cleveland has struggled heavily at this season. The Cavs are currently allowing the most fantasy points to opposing small forwards (41.62) as well as points per game to the position (23.73).
Meanwhile, on the offensive side of the ball, Deng may not take 15.4 shots per game in Cleveland. Kyrie is a guy who takes upwards to 20 shots per game, and shooting guard Dion Waiters hoists up 14 off the bench. However, no longer the top weapon in an offense, Deng may get better looks in his new home.
Stay tuned. This may not be the last move Cleveland makes this season.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.