CHICAGO (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers traded Andrew Bynum in time — and got an All-Star in return.
The Cavaliers acquired Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls late Monday night for Bynum and three future draft picks, beating the deadline to guarantee his full contract for the season.
Along with Bynum, who had recently been suspended indefinitely by the Cavaliers for conduct detrimental to the team, the Cavaliers also sent the Bulls a first-round pick, two second-rounders, and gave Chicago the right to swap first-round choices in 2015 if the Cavs are not in the lottery.
Deng has been an All-Star the last two seasons. But he will be a free agent after this season, and with Bulls' championship aspirations gone following Derrick Rose's season-ending knee injury, there was no reason to hold onto him and risk losing him for nothing.
"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," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in a statement. "On behalf of the entire Bulls organization, I want to thank Luol for his years in Chicago."
Deng is averaging a career-best 19 points this season and has been a member of the league's All-Defensive team. He's also a former winner of the NBA's sportsmanship award, and his professionalism will be welcomed by the Cavaliers, who quickly ran out of patience with Bynum.
"Luol reflects all that we are striving for in building our team," Cavs general manager Chris Grant said. "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."