Andrew Bynum was to be guaranteed the second half of his $12 million salary if he was on the Cavs’ roster as of January 7. So, last night, they traded him and three draft picks to the Bulls for Luol Deng. The Cavs benefit by getting Deng, whose contract expires at the end of the season, for an ill-advised run at the playoffs* and by ridding themselves of Bynum. The Bulls get cap relief and three draft picks. If I’m understanding the NBA trade rules correctly, the Bulls had to get someone with a comparable salary to Deng ($14 million to Bynum’s $12 million)– you can’t just dump salary. So, Bynum was the way to do that.
The best part about this, though, is the Bulls’ press release, which makes no mention of Bynum every playing for the team:
The Chicago Bulls announced tonight they have conveyed the contract of Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for multiple draft picks, along with the contract of Andrew Bynum.
In addition to sending Bynum’s contract to Chicago, the Cavaliers also conveyed to the Bulls a future draft pick via the Sacramento Kings (Sacramento’s conditional regular first round selection in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 otherwise, Sacramento’s 2017 regular second round pick if it falls between 31-55).
The Bulls wil waive Bynum and the $6 million he owed for the rest of the season. From the Chicago Tribune:
The Bulls will waive Bynum before the second half of his $12.3 million contract becomes guaranteed on Tuesday. That move will drop them below the luxury-tax threshold in a season in which they no longer are championship contenders after the loss of Derrick Rose to a knee injury, saving them close to $15 million.
Presumably, someone will pick Bynum up. Maybe.
*The Cavs are 11-23. For real, what are they doing?