Chicago sports fans had a rough go of it in 2013. The Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks were the only two of the five professional sports teams to even make the playoffs last year. Meanwhile, Derrick Rose‘s injuries caused an absurd amount of pain and the Chicago Bears choked away the NFC North like only the Bears can. With that being said, 2014 is off pretty bad start as well.
Late Monday night, the Bulls agreed to send Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the the contract of Andrew Bynum and three future draft picks. This move almost certainly puts the Bulls in full-blown “tank” mode as Chicago will release Bynum and save a grand total of $15 million this year. Perhaps the most interesting part of this trade was the fact that Deng — a Bulls staple since 2004 — rejected a three-year deal worth $30 million before being traded to Cleveland.
Of course, that action drew an immediate parallel to what the Bears did last offseason with a face of their franchise in Brian Urlacher. After 13 seasons in the Windy City, Urlacher was offered a low contract to his standards and Bears general manager Phil Emery swiftly told Urlacher to hit the road after No. 54 declined the offer. Moreover, the only difference here is that Deng is in no place to retire. Instead, the pending free agent will trek to Cleveland and make the playoffs; but more importantly, hammer out a long-term deal to stay with the Cavs.
It’s never easy to say goodbye to icons like Deng and Urlacher, but Chicago has done just that as the two are no longer relevant after a combined 22 years of excellence in the Second City.