Editor’s note: This is a guess post from Justin Becker of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com. You can follow him on twitter at @NBAFantasyInfo, and for more information on the NBA visit www.FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com – your online source of anything about fantasy basketball.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will trade Andrew Bynum, or cut him. That can be considered as a lock for now. The other certain is the fact that the Cavs need a major upgrade at the small forward position. They need a star who will take the team to the next level, and the Chicago Bulls’ Luol Deng would be the perfect fit for them.
Deng is a player whom the Cavaliers have a good chance of landing. In addition, he seems like he is a great fit for the current roster of the team. Playing alongside Kyrie Irving, Deng could provide his shooting, passing and defensive skills to make the Cavs even more competitive.
Since LeBron James left Cleveland, the Cavaliers have never really had a reliable and steady solution at small forward. Alonzo Gee and Earl Clark are the current solutions Mike Brown has at his disposal, and both of them are recording just mediocre seasons thus far.
On the contrary, Deng is showcasing more and more of his skills this season with the Bulls. He is averaging 19.4 points per contest to go along with 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists. At the same time, he is shooting 45.8 percent from the field. The 28-year-old forward has also shown leadership for the Bulls while Derrick Rose remains sidelined. He did the same last season, and he continues to perform as the Bulls’ leader this season.
Apart from his solid offensive stats, Deng is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. In almost every game, he is assigned with the task of defending the opponents’ star wing players. Deng has proven that that he can hold his own against players like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant. That would be a huge upgrade for Cleveland, who currently ranks 20 in points allowed per game in the league. It seems like Deng fits perfectly in the defensive culture that Cavs head coach Mike Brown is trying to instill on his team.
The Chicago Bulls might risk losing Deng and get nothing in return this summer, as the 6 foot 9 forward is set to hit the free-agency market during the upcoming offseason, and it is unlikely that he will re-sign with Chicago.
There are many scenarios in which the Cavs could end up receiving Deng. The first one indicates that the Cavaliers will send Andreson Varejao, Alonzo Gee and a 2015 first-round pick to Chicago in exchange for Deng.
In another scenario, Luol Deng will come to Cleveland in exchange for the first overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Anthony Bennett, Earl Clark and Alonzo Gee.
A third scenario is a 3-team deal that includes the Sacramento Kings, and would send Marcus Thorton, Earl Clark, Alonzo Gee, C.J. Miles and Jimmer Fredette to Chicago. The Kings would receive Carlos Boozer and the Cavs would land Deng. This scenario seems to be beneficial for all three parties.
Luol Deng is a player the Cavaliers should chase at all costs, even if that means trading some other assets other than just Andrew Bynum for him. They need to see an upgrade at small forward and Deng would fill that role nicely.