The Luol Deng was big news in the NBA on Tuesday. You can catch my analysis here...essentially I found this particular deal (with Bynum's waiveable contract bringing immediate savings) was probably necessary though only given our self-imposed constraints that we're sort of resigned to accepting. Ricky also had a really nice retrospective of Deng's career and how he and the Bulls got to this point. You can find even more going on in our Storystream.
- Kevin Pelton at ESPN Insider gave the Bulls a C and Ben Golliver at SI.com a slightly better B-, noting that while the financial savings are nice, getting someone of more actual basketball value would've been better. Golliver concludes that the only way to raise this grade is for the Bulls to 'embrace the tank'.
- Zach Lowe at Grantland takes a more favorable view to the Bulls trade return, noting that it's getting harder and harder to acquire first-round picks from around the league, especially for an expiring contract. The Cavaliers are desperate to make the playoffs which allowed any assets to be acquired by Chicago at all. Lowe seems less optimistic that the Bulls will be able to replace Deng's production soon, and suggests using the cap space to go after unrestricted free agent Lance Stephenson over the summer.
- Dan Feldman at Pro Basketball Talk notes that Derrick Rose is a potential winner in this deal, even if he may not be happy about it. The protections on the pick and upcoming cap space suggest that the Bulls are aiming for a quick rebuild.
From the other side
From the other side
- Kelly Dwyer at Yahoo! essentially calls it sad but necessary, with his usual spot-on Bulls analysis saved for the end.
This can’t be criticized. Time and time again, the team’s parsimony has an excuse that once singularly identified, can’t really be called into question. The Bulls always get away with it. There’s always a reason. They’re so damn good at this.... As expected, the Bulls will dangle that carrot to their fans
- Steve Aschburner at NBA.com notes this as yet another example of the Bulls having a poor relationship with a player, a reputation that could be the reason why previous times of 'flexibility' hasn't led to any superstar free agents.
- Bradford Doolittle at ESPN Insider explains how this deal opens up possibilities of many potential new directions for the team, something that wouldn't have been the case if Deng was retained. "If the Bulls navigate their new path wisely and keep Tom Thibodeau along for the ride, then the short-term bleakness that is sure to come will quickly be forgotten."
- Hoopsworld's Nate Duncan lauds the Bulls doing what they do best: "trading with league's worst FOs/Ownerships" and leveraging their ability to draft well.