Who won the Luol Deng Trade?
Months after Derrick Rose’s injury in Portland, the Bulls seemed to waive the white flag on the season by trading away their star small forward Luol Deng for reserve center Andrew Bynum. The NBA world knew that the Bulls were going to waive Bynum quickly to make cap room. At the moment of the trade, the Cavilers were going to pair Deng with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters to make a playoff run in the east. The Bulls had a chance to have a change a high pick if they missed the playoffs, and could trade both of their first round picks to go higher in the draft.
Both predictions were wrong the Bulls went on a hot streak after they jettisoned the former all-star forward . The Cavs struggled after adding Deng, and finished the season 32-49 five games behind the eight place Atlanta Hawks. The Cavs were in a bad position, because they gambled to make the playoffs in a year where the draft was deep at the top. With the tenth place finish in the east, the Cavs had a low chance of getting a high pick.
The Bulls made the playoffs, and so did the Charlotte Bobcats (They are officially the Hornets now). The Bulls were officially out of the lottery, but when they waived Bynum they had enough cap room to sign a free agents. If the Bulls get rid of Boozer this offseason they have the flexibly to add a max contract player.
The Cavs surprising won the top pick in the draft, and have the ability to pick any of the top NBA prospect. They can add another game changer to their core that has two no. 1 picks.The Cavs are looking at next year as a chance to make the playoffs, and potentially upset a top seeded team in the first round. The Bulls on the other hand are going to try to add a proven star to join Derick Rose and Joakim Noah. They are looking for to put a team together to win a championship next year.
The Bulls win the trade easily if they add Carmelo Anthony this season. The salary dump move could have been delayed until next season if the Bulls wanted to sign Kevin Love in the 2015 season. Anthony is available right now, and can help the Bulls into a deep playoff run next season.
Along with the top pick in the draft the Cavs are hoping LeBron James leaves Miami to go back to his former team. That seems unlikely putting into account he has gone to the NBA Finals every year since he left Cleveland. Taking the return of LeBron out of the equation, the Cavs still have a chance to be good next year, but not as good as the Bulls. The Bulls are a better team now, and even without gaining Anthony in free agency they are expected to go further than the Cavs. The only way the Cavs win the trade is if the rookie they draft is the second coming of Oscar Robertson.