The Chicago Bulls will trade forward Mike Dunleavy to the Cleveland Cavaliers to help clear salary cap space for Dwyane Wade, reports The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. The team needed to move salary in order to sign Wade, who agreed to leave Miami to sign with Chicago on Wednesday.
Dunleavy has one year and $4.8 million remaining on his contract, which is why the Bulls needed to move him. The team has agreed to sign Wade to a lucrative deal, but can't finalize that move until it has enough salary cap space. As a result, it's worked to move Dunleavy and point guard Jose Calderon, who's set to make $7.7 million next season. Calderon will reportedly be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Cavaliers will use part of their $9.6 million trade exception acquired from the Anderson Varejao trade in order to take in Dunleavy's contract, per The Vertical's Bobby Marks. It doesn't appear Chicago will receive anything else in the deal beyond sending Dunleavy into Cleveland's cap space. The move gives the Cavs another veteran wing who can play defense, move the ball and hit open jumpers to join LeBron James' squad.
Dunleavy missed most of the 2015-16 season due to injury, appearing in only 31 games. He averaged 7.2 points, 1.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game as Chicago missed the playoffs. He was still an efficient shooter, though, hitting nearly 40 percent of his attempts from three-point range. He brings range, experience, basketball IQ and length, so while Dunleavy isn't quite the player he once was, it's not surprising the Cavaliers identified him as a target.
For the Bulls, this deal is all about Wade, who becomes the centerpiece of the team's offseason after deciding to leave South Beach. His move back to his hometown in Chicago is unexpected but gives the team a chance to make some noise next season. While it means trading Dunleavy and Calderon, the benefit of adding Wade is a no-brainer, and not just from a marketing perspective.