Cavs picking up option on Perkins' contract

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While Kendrick Perkins never got off the bench for the Cleveland Cavaliers, except for getting into dustups with Drake and Steph Curry, the team is reportedly picking up his option for the 2018-19 season.

ESPN reports the move is not to bring Perkins back as a player, his renowned locker room presence not withstanding, but rather a salary-cap move to try and aggregate the veteran big man's $2.5 million salary in addition to an existing contract to pursue trade possibilities.

The report states the Cavaliers "continue to explore all options to improve" heading into LeBron James' decision about his future with the franchise.

In picking up the option, Perkins' contract is non-guaranteed for now. To include it in any potential trade, Cleveland would have to guarantee the deal.

The Cavaliers did something similar to a move they did in 2014 when they invoked the so-called "Brendan Haywood rule" in the new collective bargaining agreement.

In the summer of 2014, Cleveland acquired the aging center on an escalating contract that included a $10.5 million in non-guaranteed salary in his second season with the team so it could use him as a bargaining chip to pursue big time players.

Since then, the NBA has ruled only the guaranteed parts of contracts signed under the new CBA will count when they are parts in deals in able to meet the salary-match regulations to make deals work.

Picking up the option on Perkins' contract is another sign Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert it willing to add extra salary to the team's roster, even though Cleveland will be a luxury-tax payer no matter what James decides to do.

Gilbert has paid around $130 million in luxury-tax payments in the past three seasons alone, almost equaling the total of the luxury-tax payments made by the owners of the other 29 owners in the NBA.