It appears that the potential Andrew Bynum-to-Los Angeles deal that was reported this week is on life support. ESPN.com’s resident
Cavaliers beat NBA writer reports that while the deal which would send Pau Gasol to Cleveland in exchange for the cap space which would be cleared by waiving center Andrew Bynum is no longer progressing and that Chris Grant and the Cavs are looking elsewhere.
The major issue, sources said, involves the Lakers’ desire to get an additional asset from the Cavs beyond Bynum’s team-friendly contract, which could save the Lakers more than $20 million in salary and luxury taxes. The Lakers are interested in also getting a young prospect or first-round draft pick as part of the deal. The Cavs have been reluctant to part with either.
It was reported earlier this week that the Lakers had coveted a first-round pick in the deal which could also included small forward Alonzo Gee. Talks between the Cavaliers and Lakers hit a bit of a speed bump over the New Year’s holiday as All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving had a scare when he suffered what looked to have been a threatening knee injury. The Cavaliers, potentially without Irving, did not want to add Gasol and his $19.3 million contract if playoff hopes had quickly transitioned from remote to no chance in hell.
There is obvious history with the two teams as they engaged in a similar deal in 2012 when they acquired Luke Walton and a first-round draft selection for the expiring contract of Ramon Sessions. Due to the new CBA, there is some pressure for the Lakers to get out of the luxury tax to help with future flexibility. As Windhorst stated, if the Lakers remain in the tax this season, going into the tax in either of the next two seasons would trigger a “repeater tax.” The Lakers are planning to be major free-agent players the next two summers, similar to the cap-space-hording Cavaliers. Alas, any deal consummated between the two teams would not only aid the Cavaliers’ playoff chances this season, but would also add a potential rival to the mix in what is shaping to be a fairly active 2014 free agency period.
The Cavs have until Jan. 7 to trade Bynum before his contract becomes fully guaranteed for the year.
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