The Lakers and Cavs have discussed a trade involving Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne.
The teams reportedly are considering a deal before Bynum's $12.25 million salary becomes guaranteed on Jan. 7. The Cavs suspended Bynum on Saturday for conduct detrimental to the team and have excused him indefinitely from team activities and games. Yahoo Sports reported that the Cavs are fed up with Bynum because he no longer wants to play basketball and that they view him as a disruptive force among the team's young players.
A trade of Gasol for Bynum straight-up would require at least one other Cavs player and/or assets. If the Lakers go through with the trade, they would would then waive Bynum and clear more than $20 million in salaries and luxury taxes, creating financial flexibility during a season that has been hampered by injuries. The trade reportedly would not lead to the Lakers throwing in the towel on the current season, but provide cap room for the off-season.
Gasol is averaging 14.7 points and 9.4 rebounds while shooting a career-low 45 percent from the field in the final year of a contract that pays him $19 million. Bynum, a former Laker, averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds with the Cavs this season.
The Cavs reportedly have coveted Gasol:
The Cavs have been after Gasol since this past summer, when they had extensive discussions with the Lakers, sources said. Those talks ended when Dwight Howard signed with the Houston Rockets. The Cavs, who have been struggling, are looking to upgrade their roster as they attempt to end a three-year playoff drought.
But the Lakers are not the Cavs' only option for ridding themselves of Bynum:
The Cavs also have had separate discussions with the Chicago Bulls on a Bynum trade for Luol Deng, according to sources. The Bulls are in a similar position as the Lakers, about $8 million into the luxury tax and dealing with an injury-marred season.