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Headlines / NBA

Report: Lakers, Cavs have discussions about Gasol for Bynum trade

12/31/2013 at 6:41 am By

Bynum_GasolAccording to reports from ESPN, the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers have had talks about a trade that would send disgruntled center Pau Gasol to Cleveland in exchange for Andrew Bynum:

No deal is believed to be imminent, but both sides are mulling it over ahead of a Jan. 7 deadline when the second half of Bynum’s $12.25 million salary would be guaranteed. The Cavs suspended Bynum for one game this weekend for conduct detrimental to the team and have excused him indefinitely from all activities, including games.

By trading Gasol in a package for Bynum and then waiving him, the injury-ravaged Lakers could save more than $20 million in salaries and luxury taxes, which could help them maintain financial flexibility heading into the next few summers. A Gasol-Bynum trade would have to include at least one other player and perhaps other assets from Cleveland.

The deal would make some sense for the Cavs, who could plug Gasol in to the starting lineup and fill the low post void left by Bynum’s suspension. Gasol could then help the Cavs contend for a playoff spot in the watered down East.

Gasol played well in the one season he was coached by Mike Brown when both were with the Lakers during the 2011-2012 season. That season, Gasol averaged 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds, but has since looked out of place and expressed displeasure with his usage in Mike D’Antoni’s up tempo offense.

If the Lakers could swing additional assets, say maybe shooting guard Dion Waiters or other pieces, they would be able to save salary cap space for next summer while also improving their patchwork roster. Los Angeles could then waive Bynum before Jan. 7 and save themselves a ton of money to pursue future free agents.

While such a deal may seem like a long shot on the surface, it’s very possible given where both franchises are currently and where they are looking to go. A Gasol-Bynum swap most likely has more legs than any other trade rumors so far this season.

-ALR

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