According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers are discussing a deal centered around centers Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. Bynum recently became available due to being suspended definitely and then being paced on what is essentially paid leave. The Cavaliers have to move Bynum – either through a trade or by releasing him – by January 7th. After that date, the Wine & Gold will have to pay Bynum’s full 12 million dollar salary.
The Lakers, who want to receive assets and/or picks in any deal involving Gasol, would save about 20 million in salary and luxury tax. This means the Cavaliers would have to include more – like Alonzo Gee and a first round pick – t0 make the deal work. That is also due to the fact that Bynum and Gasol’s salaries do not match up.
However, I don’t see how Bynum fits in with his former team. They now play uptempo and he’s can’t run the floor with any effectiveness. That mass him an awful fit.
From the Cavaliers’ perspective, I don’t see the upside to do this deal at all. Bynum’s suspension has opened up necessary developmental minutes for the likes of Tyler Zeller and Anthony Bennett. Considering where both are are in their learning curve, they both need playing time in order to reach their maximum potential. Gasol, due to his salary and skill set, would be taking away minutes that just opened up.
Also, is it really worth it to add Gasol and become marginally better? Adding Gasol would make the Cavaliers better, but it’s not as if he takes Cleveland from a borderline playoff team to a real contender. Is it worth it to add a player that limits development of young talent that could be part of your future rotation, but only makes you slightly better?
I unequivocally say no and am against any sort of deal that nets the Cavaliers Gasol. But knowing the expectations Dan Gilbert had going into this season, this wouldn’t surprise me one bit if it went down.
UPDATE: The rumored Bynum-Gasol swap is unlikely to happen, per multiple sources.
Hearing the Gasol-Bynum proposed deal not likely to happen.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) January 1, 2014