452562079_original_crop_northThe Cleveland Cavaliers may have ended their chances for a LeBron James reunion this offseason after trading for Luol Deng last night in a trade with the Chicago Bulls, where they sent three draft picks and Andrew Bynum.

As noted by Nick Borges of ESPN, the Cavs will not have enough salary cap room to bring back LeBron James since he left Cleveland back in the summer of 2010 when he bolted to the Miami Heat in free agency.

However, it all hinges on how good Deng plays with the Cavs this season, and what money the forward will be asking for. Deng already turned down a $30 million extension from Chicago, which led to the trade. Sources say he's at an asking price of $15 million per season, and that may be a price tag the Cavs may not uphold to in the offseason.

It's likely the Los Angeles Lakers will go after Deng then. But if Deng is re-signed, the only likely team that has enough salary cap to go after LeBron in the summer of 2014 will in fact be the Lakers. However, it's very unlikely that James will don a purple-and-gold jersey, especially if Kobe Bryant is still there.

The only other option are the Bulls, who could create enough salary cap space to make a run at James. It looks they are already cleaning the house. With Deng gone and waiving Bynum today, the Bulls just saved $15 million. Along with that, they are likely to amnesty Carlos Boozer next, creating even more cap space.

However, it looks like LeBron will be in a better position to stay with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami than to be ridiculed again and say he left for "Derrick Rose's team." James is in a comfortable place in Miami and it's officially his team now.

As for the Cavs, they may be in a tough position come the offseason. Should they overpay to keep Deng and have their starting lineup officially set with the small forward position finally intact, or should they take the risk of going for LeBron?

Letting Deng go gives the Lakers the option to steal the forward away from Cleveland's grasp, as they are more than willing to overpay for him, as he will team up with Kobe in Los Angeles.

Playing with the Lakers will also be a lot more attractable to Deng than playing in Cleveland. Signing Deng can also help Los Angeles lure other players and get back into the playoff hunt again.

These scenarios are already crazy enough as it stands. Can't imagine how this offseason is going to turn out now, especially since its six months away! And the trade deadline comes up in a month.

Yep, this is gonna be cray folks.


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