NBA Rumor: Cavs eyeing Utah’s Richard Jefferson in a Bynum trade

richard jeffersonUtah small forward Richard Jefferson is the latest rumored target of the Cleveland Cavaliers in their ongoing efforts in dump center Andrew Bynum by Tuesday’s deadline.

ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein have the latest on Friday evening about the Jefferson-to-Cleveland rumors. Here is their report on the three main exit strategies that the Cavs are weighing with a mind centered around a deal by Monday:

A deal with Utah that would send Jefferson to Cleveland and likewise allow the Jazz to acquire and waive Bynum before the other half of his $12.3 million salary this season becomes guaranteed is one of those three primary options on Cleveland’s board. The other two, sources said Friday, are continuing talks with the Lakers this weekend in hopes of hashing out trade terms both teams can stomach or Cleveland electing to keep Bynum beyond next Wednesday’s deadline and then re-shopping him as a trade asset before the Feb. 20 trade deadline … or, if necessary, again in late June and early July.

Later on Friday evening, The Plain Dealer’s Mary Schmitt Boyer, per an NBA source, reported that no Jefferson deal is likely.

Jefferson, 33, was sent to Utah in the a salary dump from the Golden State Warriors this summer as a soon-to-be expiring deal. He’s not at all the same player that averaged 19 points per game during a seven-year stretch earlier in his career. Yet, this season, he’s averaging 10 points in 27 minutes a game as a starter for the Jazz, winners of 10 of their last 20 entering Friday after a terrible start to the season.

The Jazz would be interested in releasing Bynum to save even more salary cap space. Yesterday’s latest had the Cavs “seeking other options” in Bynum negotiations besides the Lakers’ Pau Gasol. Those talks have reportedly stalled, although that remains one of the three options that Windhorst and Stein reported about tonight.

The final option they discussed has Bynum staying in Cleveland past the Jan. 7 deadline and perhaps into the offseason. His 2014-15 contract becomes due if he remains on a roster on July 10. Thus, he could remain a worthwhile salary piece in a trade.

The Cavs have been looking at various small forward options, they reported, with Jefferson then being a logical option. He could easily see minutes in Cleveland’s rotation alongside Earl Clark, Alonzo Gee and Anthony Bennett.

[Related: The Diff: The Cavs and their terrible, horrible offense]

Matt Gade, Deseret News

  • Lunch
  • Horace

    Is this is a real possibility or a leverage ploy re: Lakers? Look, we’re 10 games under .500 having played the 5th easiest schedule so far and having the 4th worst point differential. Chris grant needs to ignore dan Gilbert’s silly draft proclamation about making the playoffs and embrace who we are – one of the 4 or 5 worst teams in the league. Tank, pick up a young stud in the top 5 and retool for next year.

  • saggy

    if it ain’t MKC it’s MSB.

    I don’t understand why the Cavs would want RJ – they’ve had a proverbial boner for him for years. But MSB’s article (quoted by you) doesn’t sway my view that this could happen.


    I’m right there with you, either get something for Bynum before Jan. 7 or ditch him outright. I don’t see him being much of an asset after the 7th. I not really sure what an eighth seed gets you other than satisfying Gilbert’s meaningless decree that we are done with the lottery. #TankStrong

  • Wow

    Wow did that sports staff take a hit when Windhorst left.

  • Horace

    Agreed. Even if we make the 8th seed, we’ll be swept in round 1 and back to where we are now (minus a first rounder if we trade for gasol, deng, etc.). Our core (kyrie, dion, tristan, bennett) isn’t good enough to contend for a top 4 seed. We need another young stud via draft.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Good because Jefferson isn’t even worth Bynum.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Other then some basketballs not sure why they’d want him either. His career has been in free fall for awhile now.

  • Robbie S

    Agreed. I would rather cut Bynum and save money than take on Jefferson.