Cavs acquire Deng from Bulls in exchange for Bynum, picks

Small forward Luol Deng has been an All-Star the last two seasons.

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

With the clock ticking on a decision involving Andrew Bynum, the Cavaliers managed to pull off an almost-last-minute deal.

Except it wasn’t for the All-Star everyone kept talking about.

After on-again-off-again talks with the Los Angeles Lakers for big man Pau Gasol, the Cavs instead sent Bynum to the Chicago Bulls for small forward Luol Deng late Monday, FOX Sports Ohio sources confirmed.

In addition to Bynum, the Cavs sent a protected first-round draft pick obtained from the Sacramento Kings in 2011, as well as their 2015 and 2016 second-round picks, obtained from the Portland Trail Blazers.

Also, the Bulls earned the right to swap their 2015 first-round pick with the Cavs’ pick — provided the Cavs’ pick falls between 15 and 30 overall.

"We have worked to acquire and maintain flexibility in order to capitalize on opportunities such as this," Cavs general manager Chris Grant said in a prepared release. "Luol reflects all that we are striving for in building our team."

The Cavs had until Tuesday at 5 p.m. Eastern to trade or waive Bynum. Without such a move by that deadline, they would’ve had to play his full $12.25 million salary. Instead, he was due just half.

The Bulls’ plan for Bynum are unclear, although sources believe he will be waived, clearing more space under their own salary cap.

Yahoo! Sports reported the Bulls offered Deng, a free agent at season’s end, a $30 million extension. When Deng turned down the offer, the Bulls decided it was time to part ways.

It was supposed to be an exciting season filled with promise and some pretty cool results. But those are descriptions that don’t yet fit the Cavaliers, and we’re almost at the midway point. READ MORE

Meanwhile, sources said the Lakers did not want to trade Gasol without receiving a scorer, point guard or big man in return for fear of negative feedback from their passionate fan base.

However, Grant shot down requests to include younger Cavs such as guard Dion Waiters or center Tyler Zeller, or popular big man Anderson Varejao, in a deal for Gasol, sources said.

Deng has been an All-Star in each of the past two seasons. In 23 games this year, he is averaging a career-high 19.0 points on 45 percent shooting, and 6.9 rebounds.

According to sources, along with the Lakers and Bulls, the Cavs had separate discussions with the Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings regarding a possible Bynum trade.

Neither the Cavs nor Bulls are done exploring potential trades, sources said.

The NBA trading deadline is Feb. 20.