• Basketball

Deng leaves Chicago Bulls for Cleveland Cavaliers

ESPN staff
January 7, 2014
Deng signed for the Bulls in 2004 © Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed two-time All-Star Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls in a trade which sees Andrew Bynum move in the other direction.

The Cavs, looking to end a three-year play-off drought, are attempting to make a run by acquiring Deng to shore up the small forward position.

Deng, 28, who was born in South Sudan before his family emigrated to London, is averaging 19 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 23 games.

He has been bothered by an injured Achilles that caused him to miss nine games over the past six weeks. He has returned to play in the Bulls' past three games. The Cavs, who have lost eight of their past nine games and have been missing Irving with a knee injury, are hoping Deng helps them turn things around.

Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert welcomed Deng via Twitter early on Tuesday morning.

"We have worked to acquire and maintain flexibility in order to capitalise on opportunities such as this," Cavs general manager Chris Grant said. "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."

The Bulls had said they wanted to keep Deng, who they drafted in 2004 and signed to a $71 million extension in 2008. But talks on a new contract for Deng, who is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season, had stalled and the savings and the draft considerations were enticing.

"We have great respect for Luol Deng as a player and a person," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said. "The moves made today will put us in a better position to make the entire roster stronger for the future and to compete for a championship."

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Extracts from this article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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