In a three-way, 11-player trade with Chicago and Seattle that has been submitted for league approval, NBA front-office sources say that Cleveland will come away with four new teammates for James, headlined by Ben Wallace from the Bulls and sharpshooter Wally Szczerbiak from the Sonics.
The league office was notified of the deal before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trading deadline, sources said, and is currently reviewing the trade details as required for formal approval.
After Cleveland watched two longstanding trade targets land elsewhere -- Mike Bibby in Atlanta and Jason Kidd in Dallas -- sources say that the deal calls for the Cavaliers to receive Wallace, Szczerbiak, Seattle point guard Delonte West, Chicago's Joe Smith and a future second-round pick from the Bulls.
The Bulls, apparently abandoning their gamble on Wallace less than two seasons into the lucrative four-year deal they used to sign him away from Detroit, would get Cavaliers forward Drew Gooden and swingman Larry Hughes along with Cavs reserves Cedric Simmons and Shannon Brown.
The Sonics, shedding Szczerbiak in the name of additional payroll flexibility, come away with the expiring contracts of Cleveland's Ira Newble and Chicago's Adrian Griffin as well as Cavs veteran Donyell Marshall.
This trade is terrible for the Cavs. When healthy, Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes were excellent shooters and scorers. Now, the Cavs acquired a center who doesn't do anything. Ben Wallace is one of the biggest disappointments this year and dead weight on the court. If anything, this trade gives the Bulls a better chance of competing in the playoffs.