Trade discussion involving a swap of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol has stalled between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelbourne. The talks aren't dead, but the Cavs are apparently looking at other options to shed Bynum.
The two sides have discussed a swap of Bynum and Gasol, the two former Lakers teammates, but both remain apprehensive in pulling the trigger.
The Lakers want more than the financial benefit that would come with acquiring Bynum. Along with Bynum, the center they drafted out of high school in 2005, the Lakers would want an additional asset in the form of a young prospect or a draft pick. Cleveland isn't too keen on giving up either, but for the salaries to match up would also need to give up an additional contract on top of Bynum's.
ESPN predicts Los Angeles could save up to $20 million in salary and luxury tax spending if it acquired and then waived Bynum. But the Lakers are reluctant to trade away Gasol, even though he's butted heads with coach Mike D'Antoni and has an expiring contract. Cleveland would have interest in Gasol to continue their quest of making the postseason this year, yet Los Angeles wants to hang on to Gasol until the team's current injury problems shape up -- the Lakers also are gripping to long-shot playoff hopes.
Los Angeles can't wait very long. Bynum's $12.2 million contract becomes fully guaranteed as of Jan. 7, and Cleveland could waive or trade him by that deadline. Once his contract becomes guaranteed, the Cavs would only be able to trade Bynum to teams willing to pay him the full amount despite the risks of what have him jettisoned in Cleveland.
Bynum has averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in restricted minutes this year but became a distraction in the locker room. He has been on paid leave while the Cavs attempt to trade him.