The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired All-Star forward Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for center Andrew Bynum, three future draft picks and the right to swap 2015 first round picks with the Cavs (1-14 protected), Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced tonight from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
“We are very excited for Luol to join the Cavaliers organization, ” said Grant. “We have worked to acquire and maintain flexibility in order to capitalize on opportunities such as this. Luol reflects all that we are striving for in building our team. He’s a tremendous defensive player that can impact the game on both ends of the court with a team first mentality and is a high character leader.”
In exchange for Deng, the Cavs send Chicago Bynum, Cleveland’s right to the Sacramento King’s first round draft pick conveyed in a June 30, 2011 deal, the right for Chicago to swap its own 2015 first round draft pick with the Cavs own 2015 first round draft pick (only in the case that the Cleveland 2015 first round draft pick is between 15 and 30) and the Portland Trail Blazer’s 2015 and 2016 second round draft picks acquired from the Trail Blazers via 2013 draft night trade.
“We have great respect for Luol Deng, as a player and a person. He has been an incredible contributor to our team on the court, and he has also done great things in the community,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “On behalf of the entire Bulls organization, I want to thank Luol for his years in Chicago.”
It is extremely likely that the Bulls will waive Bynum. According to ESPN.com, “the deal will save the Bulls more than $15 million in salary and luxury taxes, taking them below the salary-cap threshold.”
Deng has been an NBA All-Star in each of the past two seasons (2012 and 2013) and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2012. He also received the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2007 and All-Rookie First Team honors in 2005.
This season, Deng appeared in 23 games (all starts) for Chicago, averaging a career-best 19.0 points on .452 shooting, 6.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.0 steal in 37.4 minutes per game. The 6-9, 220-pound forward has scored at least 20 points 10 times this season, including a stretch of six straight 20-point games from Nov. 24 to Dec. 5.
Deng was originally drafted by Phoenix in the 2004 NBA Draft as the No. 7 overall selection. He has spent his entire nine-year career with the Bulls and owns career averages of 16.1 points on .460 shooting, 6.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steal in 35.9 minutes over 637 games (591 starts). He has also played in 48 playoff games (42 starts) with averages of 16.7 points on .452 shooting, 7.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 40.3 minutes per game.
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