With the Bulls' championship chances looking dim due to guard Derrick Rose's latest knee injury, Chicago traded All-Star forward Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.
In return, the Bulls received three draft picks and center Andrew Bynum, whom they are expected to waive.
If Bynum is still on Chicago's roster after 5 p.m. Tuesday, he would be guaranteed more than $6 million for the remainder of the season. Dealing away Deng and then waiving Bynum would create a $15 million savings for the Bulls and get them under the salary cap, according to ESPN.com.
Bynum, 26, was suspended indefinitely by the Cavaliers on Saturday after an incident at Friday's practice. The 7-footer is averaging 8.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 24 games this season.
Deng, 28, missed nine games in December due to an Achilles injury. He returned to average 15.7 points over his final three games with the Bulls.
In 23 games this season, Deng is averaging 19 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists. The figures all compare favorably to his career norms: 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists.
He was an All-Star each of the previous two seasons, and he made the NBA's All-Defensive Second team in 2011-12.
"We are very excited for Luol to join the Cavaliers organization, " Cleveland general manager Chris Grant said in a press release. "We have worked to acquire and maintain flexibility in order to capitalize on opportunities such as this. Luol reflects all that we are striving for in building our team. He's a tremendous defensive player that can impact the game on both ends of the court with a team first mentality and is a high character leader."
As part of the deal, the Bulls receive a first-round pick that used to belong to the Sacramento Kings. According to ESPN.com, the pick is top-10 protected over the next two seasons. Chicago also gets the Portland Trail Blazers' second-round picks in the 2015 and 2016 drafts. All three of those picks were acquired by Cleveland in previous deals.
In addition, the Bulls receive the right to swap first-round draft picks with the Cavaliers in 2015, if Cleveland's pick is not one of the top 14.