In a move that shakes up the Eastern Conference a bit, the Cavs and Bulls have agreed to a trade. Luol Deng goes to the Cavs to solidify their lineup and Andrew Bynum goes to the Bulls to get waived and put them under the cap.
Trading Deng and getting his $14.3 million salary off their books will take Chicago, whose current payroll exceeds $80 million, below the $71 million luxury tax threshold, meaning the Bulls will not be subject to the additional taxes that kick in on teams exceeding the threshold after this season.
The Bulls also get draft picks out of the deal.
In addition to the savings, the Bulls got a future first-round draft pick owed to the Cavs by the Sacramento Kings from a 2011 trade for J.J. Hickson. The Bulls will get the Kings' pick if it falls outside the top 12 in 2014 or outside the top 10 picks in 2015, 2016 or 2017. The Bulls also got the 2015 and 2016 second-round picks the Portland Trail Blazers owed the Cavs. In a final piece, the Bulls will be able to swap draft positions with the Cavs in 2015 as long as the Cavs' draft pick is outside the top 14 picks.
Some interesting things come about because of this. First of all, the Bulls are fully into the rebuilding phase now. There are rumors that they might amnesty Carlos Boozer. Currently Chicago is just a game ahead of the Celtics in the standings.
The Cavs, meanwhile, are going all in despite being two games behind the Celtics in the standings at the moment. Look for those two teams to swap places in the near future.
Also, the Lakers hold onto Pau Gasol, at least for the moment. You can be Bynum will soon be waived and the suitors will line up around the block for him (with the Clippers and Heat probably at the front of the line).
And finally, the Cavs had been a team that was frequently brought up as a trade partner for the Celtics. Indications are that they are not done making trades this year, but I don't think that Jeff Green is in their sights now that Deng is in Cleveland.
All in all, a very interesting deal for the NBA in general and for the Eastern Conference in particular.