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Report: Lakers, Cavs have discussed a trade involving Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum

Dec 31, 2013, 9:04 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Pau Gasol is wearing out his welcome with the Lakers, having his effort questioned while recently sitting out games some felt he could have played in and not playing well or being happy with his fit in Mike D’Antoni’s system.

The situation is far worse with Andrew Bynum and the Cavaliers, who suspended him indefinitely for not taking his job seriously and being a disruptive presence in an already struggling locker room.

Cleveland is reportedly trying to trade Bynum before his contract becomes fully guaranteed on Jan. 10 (meaning he needs to be traded or waived by Jan. 7), and while L.A. recently took Gasol off the trading block, the team is reportedly revisiting scenarios to similarly get something in return for his expiring $19.2 million contract.

It’s only logical, then, that the two clubs see if something can be done to solve their problematic big man issues that would mutually benefit both sides.

From Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

The Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers have had discussions on a trade that would involve Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, league sources told ESPN.com.

No deal is believed to be imminent, but both sides are mulling it over ahead of a Jan. 7 deadline when the second half of Bynum’s $12.25 million salary would be guaranteed. The Cavs suspended Bynum for one game this weekend for conduct detrimental to the team and have excused him indefinitely from all activities, including games.

By trading Gasol in a package for Bynum and then waiving him, the injury-ravaged Lakers could save more than $20 million in salaries and luxury taxes, which could help them maintain financial flexibility heading into the next few summers. A Gasol-Bynum trade would have to include at least one other player and perhaps other assets from Cleveland.

The Lakers are reluctant to part with the four-time All-Star in any trade without receiving assets of some value in return, sources said.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this from the Lakers standpoint would be the team choosing to make a deal based more on finances than attempting to put together a championship squad. Trading a former All-Star for someone the team would immediately cut would be a wild change for an organization that has been about titles and nothing else, considering that every trade or free agent signing the team has made essentially since Kobe Bryant arrived has been about improving the roster to achieve that singular goal.

But these are different times, both in terms of the more punitive luxury taxes in place under the new collective bargaining agreement, and in terms of where the Lakers are as a franchise.

Even if L.A. hadn’t been dealing with a ridiculous amount of injuries to key players this season, including those to Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake and many others, the reality is the talent assembled on the roster wasn’t strong enough to do more than compete for one of the final two playoff spots in the very deep Western Conference — which makes paying all that money in salary and taxes much more difficult to swallow.

It’s going to be tough for the Lakers to pull the trigger on something like this, however, given how the franchise has historically operated. But if the Cavaliers are indeed interested, it would be the wisest decision. L.A. isn’t going to re-sign Gasol next season the way things are playing out, and the team would be better-served by saving that money and investing it in players that could help it return to a contending status over the next couple of seasons.

  1. 49faithful - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    And Kobe’s new job is just to sell tickets..

    • sportsfan18 - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      Kobe doesn’t understand why so few people are buying the tickets he’s trying to sell.

      He says that he’s “only” marked up the cost of the tickets to double the face value as his cut is just 50% of each ticket he sells.

      • viejosucio - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:02 AM

        What nonsense!!!
        How would you know what Kobe understands!
        I would bet Kobe knows more about the basketball business then you will ever know.
        Plus I’m sure with his money and he can afford to hire good advisors.
        And you either have forgotten or don’t know were Kobe comes from. He entire life has been basketball, since he was twinkle in his Daddy’s eye. His Dad is Jo “Jellybean” Bryant. He played in the NBA and Italy.

        And what the Hell does your comment have that have to do with trading or not trading Gasol.

  2. remyje - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    LOL Lakers are a joke

    • money2long - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      ?

    • ilovegspot - Dec 31, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      A joke with 16 championships. HaHa. The joke is in your hand when you urinate.

      • zeedoubleyou - Dec 31, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        Dr. Jerry Buss isn’t walking through that door.

        If I were a Lakers fan, I’d thinking about the James Dolan era Knicks while I drank alone in the dark.

      • crazyhandles05 - Dec 31, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        Hope you enjoy those. They won’t be getting any more with these types of moves being made. lol

    • bobb12901 - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      how about those thunder KD and his crew couldn’t beat the trailblazers last night a sign of KD’s light frame needs to get his weight up, I mention this as they are suppose to be the new powerhouse in west but really everyone knows just waiting for the Lakers to get back lol

  3. bougin89 - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    This would be an interesting salary dump by the Lakers. Would the Cavs really send any assets back to the Lakers? They have 2 first round picks in each of the next two drafts. They have a lot of assets the Lakers should covet if they do a salary dump and tank, err… play for next season.

    • bougin89 - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Correction, they actually have 2 first round picks in 2014 and 3 in 2015 although one of their 2015 first round picks is heavily protected from the Grizzlies.

      • bougin89 - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        I guess I’ll post my original comment that I replied to myself(since it’s only showing my reply):

        This would be an interesting salary dump by the Lakers. Would the Cavs really send any assets back to the Lakers? They have 2 first round picks in each of the next two drafts. They have a lot of assets the Lakers should covet if they do a salary dump and tank, err… play for next season.

      • jeffkx - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        Are you referring to the Cavs? If you are, here’s what they have:

        2014 — Owed first-rounder (top-12 protected, top-10 protected through 2017, converts to 2017 second-rounder if in the top-55) from Sacramento Kings (J.J. Hickson).
        2015 — Owed first-rounder from Miami HEAT (top-10 protected through 2016, unprotected in 2017 (LeBron James).
        2015 — Owed first-rounder (top-five protected and 15-30 protected through 2016, top-five protected in 2017 and 2018, unprotected in 2019) from the Memphis Grizzlies (Marreese Speights).

        The only way the Cavs would have 2 firsts in 2014 is if the Kings pick 13-30, which doesn’t look likely.

      • bougin89 - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        Yep, my original comment got blocked or something and isn’t showing. True, but it’s protected but they can still trade that pick. I would think if the Lakers are going to dump Gasol they will try to collect 1st round picks. Cavs have a lot of flexibility with their first rounders.

      • somekat - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        they would try to collect REAL first round picks. not picks that hopefully will turn into a first in a year or two, but most likely a 2

      • bougin89 - Dec 31, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Most 1st round picks that are traded for aging veterans are protected in some way(the Nets do not apply here). If the Cavs trade any first round picks you better believe they will be protected in some way unless it is a first rounder years from now.

  4. unxpexted1 - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    At first I laughed at this idea but I guess at the end it isn’t horrible. Gasol would be a nice fit for Cleveland. If Cleveland has to give away assets; i’m not sure what the salaries are, but i’d take back Jarrett Jack and Earl Clarke. Something like that. I think Jarrett Jack would be a good fit for the Lakers. He’s better than any guard on our team and would be a perfect back up if we found the PG of the future at some point. He’s Derek Fisher-esque in that he comes through pretty clutch. I’d do it if it was financially suitable.

  5. bucrightoff - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Sigh…I pretty much see this ending up with Bynum on the Heat and magically rediscovering his joy of basketball. The NBA is the

    • bucrightoff - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      …worst at this kind of thing. Players manipulating their way into things.

      • money2long - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        i take it 90% of thumbs up were heat fans ?

      • viejosucio - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:59 AM

        I see a lot of people agree with you and I don’t know why. “Players manipulating their way into things”? Sounds like sour grapes to me!
        What do you think, most players have a short live span in the NBA and many more end with disabling injuries. If you work real hard, and are really lucky enough to make it. Why not try to maneuver yourself into a better situation while you have the chance. You have to realize the chances of making into any pro sport is very low. We see the top 1%.
        Don’t most people maneuver through their lives and their careers to make it better.
        Manipulating isn’t the right word, more like “Working the System while you can. It’s not illegal and yes just like any profession there is always going to be a-holes and cheats.
        Just don’t brand everyone manipulative because they are using what they have worked for to maneuver a situation they like better, what ever the reason.

    • topdawg4ever - Dec 31, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      The Heat won’t want Bynum’s psycho BS on their team. Let him go to the Lakers and really blow up what’s left of the team.

      • bobb12901 - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        Lakers need him once Gasol is gone he can be the Man

  6. raycharlesj - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Ironic and truly amusing like riding your bicycle around the block and ending up on the same spot.

  7. whitdog23 - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    bucright — amen amen amen. plus all the while bynum gets undeserved dollars. when will these stupid GMs learn the dude is playing them and laughing at the direct deposit

  8. aboogy123456 - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    I don’t get why the lakers would not want to re-sign gasol. they need to try to make one more run at a title while they have kobe for two more years, so it doesn’t make sense for them to want to save money for one year. He’s getting older but his game can age well, I could see them signing him for a team friendly contract this summer and then having plenty of money left over to make a run at free agents. Pau probably hates being on the trade block every year but he does enjoy living in LA.

    • unxpexted1 - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      I think it’s almost all but clear that Pau doesn’t want to be there anymore. And frankly looking at his lack of production and effort, not sure I want him back

    • bougin89 - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:41 AM

      I think Gasol is better than what he is showing this season but if the Lakers decide to try to resign Pau then D’antoni and his system has to go.

      • 00maltliquor - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        @ bougin89

        Agreed.

      • tietcanhvit - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:12 PM

        D’Antoni and his system have to go regardless Pau is re-signing with the Lakers or not.

    • aboogy123456 - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      Yea I agree. I’m a huge pau fan and will always appreciate what he’s done for the team, but it might be time for a change. I do want to see them make a move that will help them next summer. They have never been a team that makes trades just to save some short term expenses.

    • redbaronx - Dec 31, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      @aboogy123456 – Title???? Team friendly contract??? What are you smoking?

      Pau obviously doesn’t want to be in LA anymore and you’re talking about having the Lakers resign him for a “team friendly contract”? Riiiight!

      Title? The Lakers are not seeing a title the next two to three years. Guaranteed.

      • eventhorizon04 - Dec 31, 2013 at 6:31 PM

        Between Kobe taking his latest big deal that keeps him the highest paid players in the NBA and the Lakers openly trying to trade Pau for 3 years, Pau has literally no reason to take a “Team friendly contract” to help the Lakers. None.

        There’s no “loyalty” or “sacrifice” argument that the Lakers can make that Pau should respect.

      • aboogy123456 - Dec 31, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        It’s not that he will give the lakers a discount, I’m just saying that his market value will be friendly to the lakers. As an aging player, I think he’s worth more to the lakers than the other teams who could afford him. I believe the lakers have the right to go over the cap if they sign him, because he’s already on the team, so by team friendly contract I mean that his market value will be around 8-11 million a year for 3 years, which is far less than what he’s getting now. If they trade him I would want to get some picks or something that will be an asset this summer, not just cap relie

      • redbaronx - Jan 1, 2014 at 8:09 PM

        @aboogy123456 – I think you’re ignoring the fact that
        A) Neither party seems happy with each other.
        B) No one is giving the Lakers draft picks for a a player who will be there for a year or two unless it’s a championship caliber team that wants to overload and has the cap space plus a draft pick to spare. I don’t think Miami, OKC or anyone else for that matter would or could do that.

      • aboogy123456 - Dec 31, 2013 at 7:57 PM

        @ eventhorizon I agree there’s no loyalty, especially for how Pau must feel right now. But by team friendly contract, I mean that the market value for an aging player like pau is favorable to the lakers, and I’m not sure what teams could afford him and want to pay him anyway.

    • topdawg4ever - Dec 31, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      Pau has been thrown under the bus so much he has tire treads on his backside. He should go somewhere that will appreciate him.

    • bobb12901 - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      Pau is soft and light needs to go doesn’t have the tenacity that is needed to body up against the beasts that are in NBA but Bynum does and will rock the Staples like he did once!!

  9. noahbird - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Balls… Ping pong.

  10. imakcds - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    the sad state of basketball today:
    1.that the Lakers would cast off a future HOFer, a MAN of Integrity, and someone who was integral to their latest championships and
    2. Pathetic fans who can only expose their immaturity with Hate, always found on ANY Laker blog.

    • imakcds - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      forgot the last part of the first statement: and cast off BECAUSE of Money

    • unxpexted1 - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      Let’s not act like Pau was is some lifelong laker. If we can get rid of shaq, we can definitely get rid of Pau. And its become clear that Pau no longer wants to be there, so why not?

      • 00maltliquor - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        Both to me are Lakers for life.

      • unxpexted1 - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        @malt I agree…..but the way that statement was put is as if we are doing this to Kobe. I love Pau but never viewed him as untouchable. I mean, how hype were you for the CP3 deal?

      • 00maltliquor - Dec 31, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        Wellllll….that CP3 deal I jumped through the freakin roof!! Lol
        Never had such a joyous moment followed by such a sad moment that quickly in my life! LOL

        Okay, I get your point.

      • loungefly74 - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:40 AM

        its just tough knowing they tried what they could…and nothing worked this time around.

      • imakcds - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        why do you confuse Integrity and amazing skills on the court with an honor bestowed on very few? Jerry West and Magic qualify, not many more do.
        If Shaq had the Integrity and Intelligence of a Pau Gasol, he not only would have remained a Laker, he would have been the unquestionable GOAT. Your comment in this regard diminishes the validities of your opinion.

    • cariboolean - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      future hall of famer? you’re kidding, right? the only way Pau will get into the hall of fame is to buy a ticket at the front door, just like everyone else

  11. scbaby2013 - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I prefer pau staying and coach Pringles leaving

    • money2long - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      there was some weirdo on dimemag website who used to refer to diantoni as pringles and he was a moron. i wonder if you’re that same guy

      • asimonetti88 - Dec 31, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        Lots of people refer to Coach D’Antoni as Pringles. I do too.

      • money2long - Dec 31, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        i think i was a bit specific though when i said he was referred to as that “on the dimemag website”

  12. bigmannycolts - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    As a Lakers fan,,, R U Serious??? If The Pringles man (D’Antoni) cant use his bigs properly, why in the hell would your trade for a big when you have 3 hurt pgs??? LAkers are going to hell in a hand basket

  13. chargerdillon - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    As a Lakers fan let me just say how much I now and forever will hate Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak

    Pau busted his ass for this organization, to be dumped off for a 1 legged punk who doesn’t play hard….

    If they are trying to alienate their most loyal fans, this would do it.

  14. somekat - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Don’t see why Cleveland would even consider this.

    Maybe an even swap, if the Cavs have the cap space to absorb his contract. But why would they basically save the Lakers by giving them salary relief (which they need as much as anything) to the tune of 20 million, THEN adding players on top of it?

    Just seems like it would be a stupid move for a team that still has a young core. Gasol doesn’t put them anywhere near MIA or Indy, but it keeps them from adding a max FA (LeBron is a pipe dream, especially after how the Cavs have looked this year, but they can get someone).

    Trade looks like another pie in the sky lakers fan trade where they feel some other poor franchise should have to take the hit because “the nba is better when the lakers are good”

    • asimonetti88 - Dec 31, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      Gasol is an expiring. It’s not giving the Lakers much of a salary relief because they’ll get it anyway if they keep Pau.

      • rth1of30 - Jan 1, 2014 at 9:20 AM

        And, shoot king of all time, Kobe is not expiring?

    • bougin89 - Dec 31, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      They are trading a non guaranteed contract for a player that won’t help them at all for a legitimate top quality big man. The Cavs and Lakers both save their cap space for next year. The Lakers save on Luxury tax, the Cavs get much more bang for their buck for this season even though Gasol costs more than Bynum.

  15. 00maltliquor - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    All fandom and feelings aside, if the Lakers can get a 1st round draft pick out of it, or 2 in ANY year, then this would be the smartest move for this organization.

    I don’t like it, I want to keep Pau until he retires. I don’t think there is anything else better out there for us this upcoming free agency but it would be the smart move (with draft pick(s) as a sweetener).

    Would be kinda wierd to trade him for Andrew, and then cutting Andrew though.

  16. metalhead65 - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    if the cavs make this deal and gasol never plays for them because of injury they still win by getting rid of bynum.

  17. choover1998 - Dec 31, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Lakers try to get rid of salary space really? Did they forget they just way overplayed for Kobe.

  18. marcusfitzhugh - Dec 31, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Are teams really willing to trade TWO first round picks for Pau?

  19. antistratfordian - Dec 31, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    D’Antoni probably can’t wait to gtfo of LA.

    • money2long - Dec 31, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      how naive you are. the lakers are like the yankees. they could have the worst season, but the job title of saying you’re part of that storied franchise comes with major pride. rather be the coach of this lakers team than the coach of a all star cricket team in london. and the best part about it is, in no time, the lakers and yankees have history that tells you they’ll be back on top eventually. winning is in their dna. ahhh. hows it feel to have that explained to you?

      • antistratfordian - Dec 31, 2013 at 3:56 PM

        You Lakers fans… completely deluded. For one thing, baseball was America’s pastime, and the Yankees – that 113 year old franchise – was its winningest team while baseball was still America’s most beloved sport. Basketball has never been a part of the American conscience like baseball, and, furthermore, the NBA didn’t even gain major popularity in the United States until the mid 1980’s. We should take that a step further and say that the NBA only approached the popularity of baseball when Michael Jordan was playing. Indeed, the first time the NBA finals had better ratings than the World Series was in 1998.

        So…. nope. Plus, Boston could just as easily make the claim as they are the franchise with the most championships. Neither are quite like the Yankees though.

        In any case, a headache is a headache. Rivers left the equally storied Celtics because he didn’t want to deal with that headache. Howard left the storied Lakers because he didn’t want to deal with that headache. D’Antoni is likely to feel the same way.

      • money2long - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        u continually look bad on probasketballtalk dot com. why havent you left yet …

  20. dinofrank60 - Dec 31, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Gasol loves LA and would like to stay with the Lakers. But he doesn’t want to play for D’Antoni and the Lakers have now bought in to MDA. So it would be the best thing for all to make a deal.

    I don’t know which is more interesting: the way that MDA is trying to shoehorn Gasol into playing his way, even though Gasol is not comfortable or the bafflement that MDA has because Gasol isn’t embracing MDA’s style.

  21. stephenolszewski - Dec 31, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Grant knows that his job is on the line, he took a gamble by signing Bynum now he’s trying to fix this gamble by trading for Pau. It would be an upgrade in my opinion Pau would be great in the locker room he can play more minutes then Bynum and he will space the floor better because he can work inside and mid range. Bynum clogged the paint even though his footwork is fantastic he doesn’t have the will to play anymore (at least in Cleveland) and who knows if he will even make it through the year.

  22. brugis23 - Dec 31, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Have you ever heard, ‘lakers fans are the best fans in the nba!’ Yep, me neither…

  23. sportfan2 - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    Bynum fits right into the F’ed up culture of L.A.. Bring him on.

  24. omniusprime - Jan 1, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    A truly stupid trade for the Lakers. Trading Pau is the dumbest thing the Lakers could do, he’s the only starter who’s actually playing this season. So what Pau missed a few games, Trash Nash and Kobe have only played a few games each.

    The real problem is Dumbtoni is the second worst coach the Lakers have ever had. I keep rooting for the Lakers to lose each game so that this piece of worthless sewage gets dumped overboard sooner rather than later.

    If the Lakers should trade someone it’s Trash Nash and Steve Flake, the two most sorry excuses for point guards the Lakers have ever had. Trash Nash is too old and frail, he’s a waste of money and the Flake has been the most incompetent sub point guard the Lakers have ever had. Kobe isn’t exactly earning his keep being injured now, maybe he’s too frail to endure a full NBA season and the Lakers shouldn’t have paid him so much money for two more years.

    Only a moron sports pundit would think this trade of Bynum for Pau would be smart. If all the Lakers will do is dump Bynum then they end up with nothing for Pau, a real waste. Jerky Boy Jimmy and Kupcake seem to be intent upon destroying the Lakers as an NBA franchise, they sure as heck haven’t done anything to improve the team the last few years.

    Keep Gasol! Trade Trash Nash and Steve Flake! Fire Dumbtoni!

    • ufaf299 - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      Lakers should fire Mitch Kupchak as General Manager then get Jerry West back again !

  25. ocken123 - Jan 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    The Lakers front office is a mess. They should have amnesty’d Kobe and then they could easily afford Gasol. Right now Gasol is the best player on the team, which is not saying much. Kobe is done. Steve Nash is done. Chris Kaman is also too old (or just too out of shape) to be effective. I sure hope they get a good draft pick this year!

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