The Chicago Bulls waived center Andrew Bynum just hours after acquiring him from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a trade.
The Bulls' vice president of basketball operations, John Paxson, also confirmed that head coach Tom Thibodeau opposed this week's move to send All-Star forward Luol Deng to the Cavaliers for Bynum and three draft picks.
"Look, it's not realistic to ask Tom or his staff to be happy about taking a player of Lu's caliber off your team," Paxson said.
"But what has to happen within an organization is that when decisions are made, that as a group you have to align together, and you have to move forward ... That's the challenge and Tom's going to be a part of that process with us. That's how this works."
By trading Deng and waiving Bynum before a 5:00 p.m. Tuesday deadline that would have guaranteed his $12.25 million contract for the rest of the season, the Bulls saved more than $20 million and got under the league's luxury-tax threshold.
The Bulls were among the top teams in the NBA in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, but the team has been battered by two consecutive season-ending knee injuries to star point guard Derrick Rose and currently is in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 15-18.
The 26-year-old Bynum, who was a key member of Los Angeles Lakers championship teams in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons, has struggled with knee problems over the past several years and was suspended late last month by the Cavaliers for conduct detrimental to the team.
He is expected to clear waivers before the end of the week, after which time he will become a free agent.
The Los Angeles Clippers, two-time defending champion Miami Heat and New York Knicks are reportedly interested in offering a minimum contract to Bynum. EFE