Bulls will waive Bynum to make major salary savings.
The Chicago Bulls have traded All-Star Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers in return for Andrew Bynum and three future draft picks, but are expected to waive the center and make major salary savings.
Deng, 28, is averaging 19 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 23 games but has been bothered by an Achilles injury this season which has seen him miss nine games in the past six weeks.
Initial reports also suggest that he rejected a contract offer from the Bulls which convinced the franchise that he intended on leaving in the summer which pushed forward the deal with the Cavaliers.
While the Cavs will be delighted to acquire Deng in a bid to add some solidity to the small forward position, he will also add experience and another option to young guards Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.
In contrast, the Bulls are looking long-term and are expected to waive Bynum on Tuesday evening to clear his $12.3m salary off their books.
That will in turn enable them to get below the luxury tax and combined with the saving they will make on not having to pay Deng’s salary, they are set to make a saving in excess of $20m.
While Bynum will become a free agent by the end of the week, he is expected to receive interest from the likes of the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers in the open market.
In addition to the trade and savings, the Bulls got a future first-round pick owed to the Cavs by the Sacramento Kings, along with two additional draft picks in 2015 and 2016.
“We have great respect for Luol Deng as a player and a person,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman said. “The moves made today will put us in a better position to make the entire roster stronger for the future and to compete for a championship.”
Despite reports claiming that star point guard Derrick Rose was against a re-build of the Bulls roster, this move arguably makes them stronger moving forward, with Real Madrid forward Nikola Mirotic also set to join them in the summer to make this a young and potentially exciting team in the upcoming years.