Feb 3, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) attempts to score as Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Anderson Varejao (17) defends during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

Cleveland Cavaliers Back In The Mix For Bynum

Jan 13, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Anderson Varejao (left) and Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum (right) reach for the ball in the first half of the game at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Another not imminent report has surfaced in regards to the Dwight Howard scenario. What many thought was a dead rumor has now been brought back to life, at least sources think. According to a report on espn.com, the Cleveland Cavaliers have leapfrogged the Houston Rockets as the team to be the third contributor in a Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic trade that would send Howard to Hollywood. Remember, these reports are coming from unidentified sources, meaning that nothing (including talks between the teams) has been validly confirmed.

A source reported that Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant left in the middle of the Cavaliers summer league game on Tuesday to return to Cleveland, possibly to gather information on facilitating a trade with the Magic and Lakers.

It has been confirmed that the general managers from both the Magic and Lakers did not meet face-to-face on Tuesday to discuss trading their All-Star centers. The Rockets and Cavaliers have both expressed interest in becoming involved in a Howard deal. The Rockets just recently amnestied power forward Luis Scola, possibly to free up cap space for Howard. But the signing of point guard Jeremy Lin to a three-year, $25 million contract and an offer sheet of the same asking price to Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik may have put the Rockets out of contention for Howard.

That’s why the Cavaliers are once again involved in another Howard trade scenario. They are desirable trade partners due to their amount of free cap space and bounty of draft picks that they have collected since LeBron James left town. But like last time, when the Nets and Magic were in talks, the Cavaliers are placing stipulations on the deal that might cause some problems in getting the job done.

A league source has said that the Cavaliers are not interested in trading power forward Anderson Varejao, even though there have been rumors floating around since the draft that Cleveland was willing to deal the veteran who missed a lot of time last season due to a wrist injury. The rumored proposed trade at the moment seems to have the Cavaliers shipping Andy and some draft picks/money off to Orlando, Howard to star-studded Los Angeles and current Lakers center Andrew Bynum to the Cavaliers. Either the Lakers or Cavaliers would also have to take on some bad contracts from the Magic.

Bynum, who has expressed interest in signing an extended contract with the Cavaliers, has made a point that he really likes Cavs head coach Byron Scott and point guard Kyrie Irving. It comes to no surprise that Bynum would want to sign with a team like Cleveland, as he has been riding the back burner while watching Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol become the first and second options for Los Angeles. Now with the Lakers acquisition of point guard Steve Nash, he would most likely be the fourth man in charge.

Another point that Bynum has made when discussing future homes is that he would like to be in a situation “where he’s one of the top two reasons a team wins or loses a ring.” As the Cavaliers find themselves in a talent-deprived situation on their team, adding Bynum would definitely make him the second option on the team behind Irving. The All-Star center has won two rings with the Lakers and averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks last season. He also shot at a 55.8 percent clip.

The only thing holding up the deal at this point is the Cavaliers lack of access to Bynum and his agent David Lee. Lee said that he was in Alaska with Bynum when he read online that the proposed three-way trade was again becoming a possibility. Lee has since confirmed that there have been no talks between the Cavaliers camp and Bynum and himself. Lee had this to say about the rumored trade proposal:

I would imagine any team involved in this trade would be smart enough to talk to us.

With that said, Yahoo! Sports has since reported that the Cavaliers are ready to be a trade partner in a Howard deal, but won’t make any moves until the Lakers grant Cleveland permission to talk with Bynum and his agent about the center’s interest in signing an extended contract. A league source told Yahoo! Sports this:

Cleveland will only do the deal if Bynum extends.

The Lakers fired back by saying that they won’t let the Cavaliers talk to Bynum or his agent until a framework is laid out for the deal and is agreed in principle. As for right now this is all that is known concerning the blockbuster deal. If the Cavaliers acquire the 24-year-old center then the dynamic of the team suddenly changes. Having Bynum confirm that he will sign an extended contract once he becomes a free agent next season is detrimental for the Cavaliers, and a trade will most likely not get done if Cleveland is not sure on the center’s long-term interest with the team.

Keep checking Right Down Euclid for updated information on the Cavaliers involvement in facilitating a Dwight Howard trade

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Tags: Anderson Varejao Andrew Bynum Byron Scott Cleveland Cavaliers Dwight Howard Houston Rockets Kyrie Irving Los Angeles Lakers Orlando Magic

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