Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: C Omer Asik (two years, 16.7 million) and SG Ronnie Brewer (two years, $2.4 million*).
Chicago Bulls Receive: F Thaddeus Young (three years, $28.2 million), 2014 second-round draft pick (via Brooklyn) and 2014 second-round draft pick (from Philly via Houston).
Houston Rockets Receive: SF Luol Deng (one year, $14.3 million).
*Brewer's 2014-15 salary not guaranteed.
Why Philadelphia Does It: Because we already know they want Asik, and because Brewer might actually see some playing time, and because S-A-V-I-N-G-S beyond next season—maybe.
Philly doesn't have to give up a first-round pick here, which is huge. The Sixers also have two years with Asik before deciding whether a combo of him and Noel is worth a serious investment.
Why Chicago Does It: "Chicago isn't trading Deng, you idiot."
That's what some of you will say, since ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported the Bulls wouldn't be dealing him. But pish posh on that one.
Extension talks between Deng and the Bulls stalled before the season started, and while Chicago is making it seem like it may retain him, Young is on a contract Deng will likely never accept. Someone on the open market will give him three years, $36 million—maybe more. It's going to happen.
Why not replace him with a younger, more athletic version of himself? Young isn't as talented defensively, but he's not horrible. He's also a scorer who can knock it down from inside and out. Alongside a (hopefully) healthy Derrick Rose next season, transition attacks comprising each of them and Jimmy Butler would look mighty fine.
The New York Daily News' Mitch Lawrence wrote that Rose is afraid of rebuilding, and that's not what this is. It's more like restructuring, while ensuring either Taj Gibson and/or Carlos Boozer remain expendable because of Young's ability to play both forward spots.
Why Houston Does It: Morey wasn't impressed with any Asik offers, probably because the front-runners for the center, according to Woj—Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks, Sixers and Cavs—weren't willing to part ways with first-round picks and were devoid of desirable contracts.
Well, here you go Houston.
Deng is a two-time All-Star who can make an impact on both ends of the floor as a stretch 4 or conventional small forward. This isn't a trigger you pull without the intention of re-signing him this summer, but his expiring pact does give the Rockets options, especially if they find a way to dump Jeremy Lin.
Unlike a Jeff Green or Young, the Rockets know Deng can be a valuable piece on a contender. He doesn't need the ball in his hands to be effective, and Howard would blow kisses at him all game, knowing he's one player he won't have to rotate over and help on the defensive end.
Sounds like a good fit to me.