Written & Edited by: The 'Our Sports Report' Staff (@OS_Report)
Early Tuesday morning, while the majority of the Midwest was sleeping and attempting to stay warm in this ridiculous weather, the Cavaliers and Bulls were busy making moves - big ones. The Cavs have officially moved Andrew Bynum to Chicago for Luol Deng. This move will send Cleveland's latest problem child to the the Windy City and will temporarily fill a void for the Cavs at the SF spot. A position that they have desperately needed help with since the king left town.
Many people in Northeast Ohio are happy with this move because ever since the season started, Bynum has only shown his lack of drive, questionable attitude towards his teammates and coaches, and his continuous injury issues. But of everyone, who might be the most happy about this move? The answer is Uncle Drew. Kyrie has been the face of this franchise since LBJ left, but that hasn't necessarily brought the desired results. Cleveland has gone 56-126 in that stretch and most frustrating of all is that after changing coaches and putting together an off-season that made the playoffs seem like all but a guarantee, Cleveland sits with a disappointing record of 11-23.
There were also some traditional draft picks thrown into this trade. The Bulls will get two second-rounders and will get a first-rounder from the Kings if the pick falls out of the top 12 this year. For 2015-2017, the Bulls get the pick if it falls out of the top 10. Chicago also has the right to swap picks with the Cavs in 2015 if both teams make the playoffs.
Cleveland, on paper, seems much improved with this trade, at least in the short term, and Chicago has seemed to pull the plug on the 2013-2014 season with Rose already out for the next couple of months. But what does this Cleveland team look like from here on out? This certainly brings them into the playoff contention conversations, but they have already succeeded in digging themselves a serious hole. The underlying value with Deng that most people aren't talking about is his leadership presence. If we have learned one thing in watching Kyrie over the past 3 seasons, it's that his talent is undeniable, but he has yet to become a "big-time" leader like LeBron was. Deng is an experienced veteran and a "pros-pro" that will have a strong influence on this young Cavs roster that is in obvious need of more guidance.
In a game where numbers never lie, it was more than numbers that made this trade happen. Cleveland swapped a guy that only tarnished the team morale for a veteran leader who is known for his positive attitude in the locker room. Whether Deng is only a rental for the Cavaliers or not, the most important part of this trade is making Cleveland better, and that they did with Bynum off the books.