It was recently reported that Andrew Bynum, who was suspended by the Cleveland Cavaliers, is being used as trade bait and that the Los Angeles Lakers could potentially send Pau Gasol to the Cavs in order to save money. According to ESPN, the deal that initially seemed to be off the table is now gaining some momentum, and Cleveland wants to make a deal by Sunday.
After several days of stalled talks, the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers made progress Saturday on a trade that would involve Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, sources told ESPN.com.
The Cavaliers want to execute a trade by Sunday so it can be completed ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for Bynum’s contract to become fully guaranteed, sources said. Trades need 48 hours to be finalized so players can have physicals.
The Cavs have been involved in talks with other teams looking to take advantage of Bynum’s contract. The deal is for $12.3 million this season but if a team waives Bynum by Tuesday it will owe him nothing because the $6.3 million left on the contract is not guaranteed if he’s released by that date.
It would be interesting to see what the potential deal would look like, but the incentive for the Lakers is clearly to blow it up this season and save up to $20 million by waiving Bynum.
It’s hard to see the Cavs giving up anything of great value for Gasol, who is on an expiring contract, but the Spanish big man could certainly add some veteran experience and another offensive threat to the team.