Posted December 31, 2013

Report: Lakers, Cavaliers have discussed trading Pau Gasol for Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol

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With yet another season undermined by rampant injury, the Lakers have reportedly discussed a deal that would send Pau Gasol to Cleveland in exchange for Andrew Bynum, according to ESPN.com.

The motivation for the deal is simple: With L.A. trailing the pack of Western Conference playoff contenders, dealing Gasol for Bynum — whose salary is only partially guaranteed — would bring massive savings in salary and luxury tax payments. It’s hard to quantify the Lakers’ potential savings more exactly given that other pieces would have to be involved to make the swap legal by NBA rules, but with the move L.A. would likely be able to slide under the luxury tax line for the first time since 2007.

That in itself is a significant development, as ducking out of luxury tax territory for even a single season could help the Lakers to steer clear of the fearsome repeater tax penalties that kick in next season. In 2014-15, teams that had paid the tax in each of the three previous seasons will be hit with an even harsher penalty than before. The same applies in 2015-16 for teams that paid the tax in three of the past four seasons. Trading Gasol would thus not only save the Lakers millions of dollars now, but potentially many more down the line by way of avoiding the tax this year.

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The Lakers have had no problem paying the tax so long as it supports a winning team, but in a season like this there would seem to be little reason for it. Steve Nash hasn’t looked himself for more than a year, and there’s no guarantee that he’ll be able to stay on the court this season after making his return in January. Kobe Bryant remains an unknown after making his way back from a torn Achilles only to suffer a knee fracture in the same leg. Gasol, for his part, is posting the lowest field goal percentage of his career and seems slower than ever. Getting a full lineup — Steve Blake included — would surely help the Lakers, but it’s not as if this were a sure playoff team even at full strength.

This discussed exchange, then, would allow the Lakers to hand off the cap hit and remaining salary for the final year of Gasol’s contract, thus relieving some of the financial costs of the current roster. In exchange, they would acquire Bynum, if only temporarily; Bynum’s contract is only partially guaranteed for the season so long as he’s waived by Jan. 7th, making his contract the attractive, actionable item in this deal from the Lakers perspective. That they might also add a rotation-caliber player or draft considerations could add to the appeal, while Cleveland stands to bolster its frontcourt with the acquisition of Gasol. Even in lesser form, Gasol brings an ability to create offense that goes beyond what players like Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao are even remotely capable of providing.

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Gasol’s impending free agency also complicates matters for both teams. While the Lakers explore their options in free agency, owning Gasol’s Bird rights seemed a suitable means to carry out a back-up plan. At the same time, trading Gasol removes his cap hold — worth over $20 million — from the books for next season, thus allowing L.A. to more freely make use of its cap room. Cleveland, on the other hand, would be making a play for an asset who may have no intent to stay beyond this season. Whether such an arrangement is ultimately worth the Cavs’ time depends on the other pieces involved, and how much need be surrendered to ship Bynum out of town while acquiring a quality player in return.

39 comments
Ken Cunningham
Ken Cunningham

Why discuss this trade at all? Bynam isn't interested in playing basketball anymore, period.  He has good skills, but very little long term desire, 4 losses and he'll be in his 10 game funk again, ready to sit out the remainder of the season..again. At least Gasol wants to play and uses his talents nightly. If you really want to do some trading, and be honest about it, pack up Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Coach D'Antoni and send them away for a younger talented point guard, younger shooting guard and a coach who knows what defense is.

JosephBagadoughnutz
JosephBagadoughnutz

so i guess knockin the bottom out of the daughter dont get ya to d front of the bus

Storvo
Storvo

Can they throw Nash and Kobe at once, and give DA as appreciation sign?

airmjbsanders
airmjbsanders

This move should give Faker fans some hope that Mitch is still bein allowed to make some major decisions!  LAL should be in FULL tank mode at this point.  With the East teams all bunched together, the Fakers will have a good chance this year to get a very high lottery pick.


They've wanted to get rid of Pau for 2 years now.  Show him some gratitude for 2 chips & 3 straight finals appearances & give him a chance to make the playoffs this season.


If LAL doesn't do this trade, it will be clear that Jim Bust is really runnin personnel decisions, which means the Fakers are doomed...

rh2000
rh2000

And the Lakers get bailed out again by another current bottom feeder team!  


The Grizz did make something of themselves years after.  I guess Pau could help the Cavs.  


Just hate seeing the Lakers continue to be bailed out by other teams.

drbcool
drbcool

Pleaseoplease do NOT bring that train wreck back here!

EnashWaca
EnashWaca

Marc is better than Pau.  Injured or not.  The Lakers already raped the Grizz once to get Pau.  maybe they can do the same and get Marc

eddie767
eddie767

Why would Cavs owner want to help Lakers,tax situation? He endorsed it,b/c he was mad at LBJ/Heat for getting 3 stars together. Either way both teams don't get better or worse, imo, since both are run by incompetent owners.

dirty bird lover
dirty bird lover

Bynum is a TOTAL LOSER and a CANCER to any team and not deserving to carry the bags of true NBA players!!!

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

again i don't think this deal get's done it's being driven by espn, and we know how accurate they are, they were the ones who went crazy saying oh carmelo and lebron would go to the lakers

kafka45
kafka45

L.A. gets rid of Gasol... (who's gonna be a  free agent) and saves 20 MILLION dollars.... 


They'd be crazy NOT to make this deal...  its all up to CLeveland. 

FredFlintsone
FredFlintsone

If I dumped an injured player on another team I'd downplay any attempt to get him back from another team too. They don't call LA Tinsletown for nothing

fabio.fantone
fabio.fantone

NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a_evangelista
a_evangelista

And they tank, tank, tank.

The ring of fire.

The ring of fire.


lkrfan
lkrfan

UGH!  Is this a smart move?!

Don8
Don8

Oh no!  Bad idea.

Joseph Rodocker
Joseph Rodocker

Please cavs dont make this trade! Allow old teams like the lakers drown in their own bad financial waters. The cavs have a young solid future starting with kyrie and thompson. Dont panic these kids are future all stars! Cut Bynum outright, hes just another overpaid former laker!

dchiu2013
dchiu2013

I feel bad for Gasol. He has been an awesome Laker, and management continues to disrespect him every year.  Who the heck wants to play and live in Cleveland? 

JohnKoehl
JohnKoehl

Just more of the further demise of the Los Angeles Lakers..Why bring an often injured center with no guts back in your organization? Healthy or not this team is old and unproven  and the real problem there is no Jerry (Buss or West) to rebuild and put them on the right track. 

tootallgoof
tootallgoof

The Cavs need some major pieces outside of Gasol to make this work.   A third team may be needed to make the Cavs and Lakers both happy.

Aaron14
Aaron14

No, the Lakers ARE a sure playoff team if they are healthy but it seems like quite awhile since that was the case.


I would be suprised if the Lakers killed the season just to get under the salary cap when they just signed a tv deal that put them in a new financial stratosphere but when you have a new owner people don't know what to expect.  Makes a good story either way tho

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@drbcool READING COMPREHENSION!! If they do the deal it will be so they can cut Bynum immediately and save over 20 million in salary and luxury tax. 

Lohikaarme
Lohikaarme

Don't be so polite, please tell us what you really think of him.

MikeMapel
MikeMapel

@Joseph RodockerHi, the Cavs do not have a young solid future.  They are 10-21 and have lost 6 straight.  Kyrie is counting the days until he can get out of Cleveland.  He is playing for a retread coach who couldn't win a championship when he had LEBRON!  Thompson is a bust considering where he was picked, as is Bennett.  I do agree with not making the trade and making teams like LA choke on their financial issues.  Cavs just need a new owner/GM/coach.  It all starts at the top/  Great leaders who are successful do not react emotionally and make promises they cannot keep.  Gilbert promised he'd bring a championship before Lebron got one.  Piss poor leadership.  The Cavs are 10-21.

Aaron14
Aaron14

@Joseph Rodocker While the Cavs are doing this the way they needed to, Cleveland brass would be doing cartwheels if there were any truth to this seemingly convoluted, media driven, one-sided deal.  To get a top flight center that fascilitates the entire floor at the offensive end, in order to replace someone that you threw a bunch of money at to do the exact same thing before crapping out, would be a wet dream for the Cavs organization.

laclipperzfan
laclipperzfan

@dchiu2013the Lakers have paid Pau about 100 or so million dollars since he's been a Laker.  They don't owe him anything - it's a business.  This is what Jim Buss fails to understand. 

dei1c3
dei1c3

@JohnKoehl Did you even read the article?  They wouldn't be bringing Bynum into the organization, they would get him so they could cut him before 1/7 for the salary and cap savings.

Aaron14
Aaron14

And if you want to say, "well they did it with Dwight," there really were not any other viable options at that point and besides, they tried to keep Dwight.  

Joseph Rodocker
Joseph Rodocker

The cavs are the 2nd youngest team in the entire league. Take andy and bynum away and yhey are the youngest by a long shot.

Joseph Rodocker
Joseph Rodocker

Lebron is from Ohio! He has his own locker inside Ohio State basketball lockerroom. He still lives in Akron. He is a true buckeye. Enough said.

Joseph Rodocker
Joseph Rodocker

Cartwheels? Wha? There is not one person on the entire LA roster I woukd be excited about.You are living in past decades, the Lakers are dead. Thank god Akrons finest didnt choose to go there! Lol

Joseph Rodocker
Joseph Rodocker

Did your dumb a$$ just say that pau is better than Kyrie? LmAo I shouldnt even reply to that

Aaron14
Aaron14

@Joseph Rodocker I can assure you, my friend, that Gasol is substantially better than the nothing you got right now. 


Do you really think that there is one player on the Cleveland roster with the mojo of Kobe???   Oh.... good heavens....

Sean15
Sean15

@JohnKoehl @dei1c3 They get to save millions of dollars from the current and following years luxury taxes plus possible draft picks and rotation players from other teams who would have to be included in the trade to make it legal by league standards.