What Deng Trade Means for Bulls Going Forward

What Deng Trade Means for Bulls Going Forward
The Bulls have started their rebuilding process by trading Luol Deng to Cleveland.

The Bulls and Cavaliers have agreed on a blockbuster trade that sends Luol Deng to Cleveland for Andrew Bynum and draft picks. It's almost a lock that Bynum gets waived today. The seven footer gets $12 million guaranteed by 4pm today

Per CBSSports.Com, the picks are as follows.

"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 a 2013 draft night trade."

CBSSports was also reporting the trade likely occurred because Deng was upset that he was not offered a contract extension this past summer. According to the Score's David Schuster, the Bulls made one final offer to Deng. He turned them down which precipitated the trade.

Per CBS, the picks from Sacramento have multiple protections.

2014 first round draft pick from Sacramento. Sacramento s 1st round pick to Cleveland protected for selections 1-12 in 2014, 1-10 in 2015, 1-10 in 2016 or 1-10 in 2017; if Sacramento has not conveyed a 1st round pick to Cleveland by 2017, then Sacramento will instead convey its 2017 2nd round pick to Cleveland protected for selections 56-60 if this pick falls within its protected range and is therefore not conveyed, then Sacramento's obligation to Cleveland will be extinguished [Cleveland-Sacramento, 6/30/2011.

The trade will provide rookie Tony Snell, veteran swingman Mike Dunleavy and forward Taj Gibson with more playing time. Per Schuster, the Bulls will likely move Jimmy Butler from shooting guard to small forward and Butler, Dunleavy and Snell will rotate between the two and three.

Schuster also mentioned that Taj Gibson will continue to come off the bench and backup Carlos Boozer at Power Forward and Joakim Noah at Center.

Snell has only played 15 minutes in the last three games, including a DNP-CD against Toronto on Saturday. When he has got extended playing, Snell has produced. In games he's played double figures, Snell has averaged 8.87 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.7 APG and 1.3 turnovers per game. His 1.3 assist to turnover ratio is troubling. He also needs to be more efficient shooting. The rookie from New Mexico is shooting just 37 percent from the floor and 30.3 percent on threes.

With the Bulls eyeing the future, they could trade him with the trading deadline approaching next month. Gar Forman refers to draft picks as assets and the Bulls could use Dunleavy and the draft picks to get higher picks or a young core player. On the season, the veteran is averaging 10.8 PPG and shooting 39.3 percent on threes.

Although Dunleavy and Snell will see the biggest uptick in playing time, Butler might have the most to gain. He will become one of the three most important players on the team for the rest of this season. With Boozer and Noah, Butler now becomes a part of the short term core.

After missing nearly a month earlier in the season, Butler has returned and played well. He is averaging 14.7 PPG in his last six. Shooting has also been a concern for Jimmy Buckets. He is connecting on just 39.8 % from the floor and 33.3 % on threes.

The trade has fans excited for the Bulls to "tank" the season. In the woeful East, the Bulls are still in playoff contention. They currently sit sixth in the East and are just two games behind Toronto for the fourth seed and home court in the first round.

The trading deadline and off-season should be interesting for the Bulls. Garpax are likely to pursue more moves as the trade deadline approaches.

Dunleavy and Boozer are the most likely to be moved. Boozer would be difficult. His contract for this season is $15 million and he is due $16.8 million next season. They might try and amnesty Boozer in the off-season. Letting Boozer go would likely mean a strong push for European big Nikola Mirotic. The Bulls acquired Mirotic from Minnesota in a 2011 draft day trade. He is considered one of the best prospects in Europe.

Mirotic has a $2.5 million buyout and Real Madrid could attempt to extend his contract.

Garpax have now remade the 2014 Bulls on the fly. The trade gives the Bulls a real chance to get a look at Snell, they signed D.J. Augustin after Marquis Teague failed and now they move Deng.

The Bulls have a favorable schedule coming up. After Phoenix, the next nine games feature games against teams with losing records.

We will learn a lot about the Bulls and their direction as the season moves along, the trade deadline approaches and in the off-season

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