The latest word, which I just wrote on, regarding the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Andrew Bynum saga was that the Cavs had until 5 p.m. on Tuesday to either trade or waive the much-maligned center. Less than an hour ago, it seemed like Bynum would be waived and hit the NBA free-agent market.
However, the Cavaliers have apparently pulled off a blockbuster deal involving Bynum with the Chicago Bulls as their trade partner, according to Cleveland’s official Twitter account. While the Bulls will be enlisting the services of Bynum, the Cavs will get All-Star forward Luol Deng in return, another player who has reportedly been shopped in recent weeks.
For the Bulls, I’m not totally sure what adding Bynum really brings them for this season outside of just having another talented big man on their roster. Joakim Noah is still clearly the head honcho in their frontcourt and the arrival of Bynum isn’t going to change that for a number of reasons. In fact, it would not surprise me if Bynum still gets waived after this trade. However, as the Bulls also get three draft picks from the Cavs in this draft, it’s clear they are looking towards a new look in the future.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, though, Cleveland is making out like bandits in this deal. Not only are they getting a player who made the All-Star team just last season, but they are getting that caliber of player in exchange for a player that they were openly trying to deal and had no leverage in doing so.
For a Cavs team that has been inconsistent on both ends of the floor this season, Deng is a player that can help sure up things on both ends. He’s shown in Chicago that he’s an elite and versatile defender, but the prospect of him playing alongside Kyrie Irving in the offense is also exciting. Deng also addresses their inconsistency at the small forward position, a problem over more than just this season. It’s still early, but this deal could turn things right around for Cleveland.