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Report: Pau Gasol/Andrew Bynum trade talks stalled

Jan 2, 2014, 2:13 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Utah Jazz, - Game 4 Getty Images

While the idea of former teammates Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol being traded for each other had some “what a quirky coincidence” fun about it, the odds of making a deal really work for both sides always was a tough sell.

Which is why trade talks between the Lakers and Cavaliers have stalled, reports ESPN.

The major issue, sources said, involves the Lakers’ desire to get an additional asset from the Cavs beyond Bynum’s team-friendly contract, which could save the Lakers more than $20 million in salary and luxury taxes. The Lakers are interested in also getting a young prospect or first-round draft pick as part of the deal. The Cavs have been reluctant to part with either.

For the Cavaliers, the logic in getting Gasol is to make a playoff push — Cleveland averages just 36.7 points in the paint per game, third worst in the NBA. Gasol would help change that. (So would Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters finishing their drives at the rim rather than settling for a pull-up jumper, but that’s another discussion.)

For the Lakers, making this trade then waiving Bynum would be a cash saving move and would be essentially throwing in the towel on this season and conceding they want to be in the lottery — for Lakers management that would be a hard step to take. It might be the right one, but it flies in the tradition of the Lakers and current ownership (post Jerry Buss) is sensitive to the idea this is not a franchise that tanks.

That said the Lakers need to consider this, and if not the Bynum move another salary dump. Sorry, but this season is lost. Simply put, if they make this move and get out of the tax this season and them next season not go over the Lakers could avoid the new “repeater tax” for a few years. This would make it easier and less expensive to be aggressive on free agents the next couple seasons. Plus they would get a lottery player (likely not top 3 but more likely 10-12) to add to that mix.

Still, that is a change from how the Lakers do business. If they are going to take that step they will want something else they can sell fans (and themselves) besides that salary dump.

  1. fbwangus8736 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Why in the hell would the Cavs give either? If thats the case they should just dump Bynum themselves!

  2. smoothaswilkes - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    “It might be the right one, but it flies in the tradition of the Lakers and current ownership (post Jerry Buss) is sensitive to the idea this is not a franchise that tanks.”

    Kurt – I thought you would know better than to keep feeding the beast that is uninformed Lakers fans that love to hold on to the past. Tradition only exists in a vacuum. The landscape has changed with this latest version of the CBA and if the Lakers don’t break tradition, they’ll start a new tradition of bottom feeding.

    Plus, making this trade is not “tanking”. It’s realizing that this season is lost to injuries and a severe lack of depth. Saving money, getting out of repeater territory, and prepping for the future are the only things left to do this season. The Lakers’ front office should realize that and us Lakers’ fans should get behind that. There is no more reloading in today’s NBA. The only path back to relevancy is through the draft, smart free agent signings, and strong management both on an off the court. This trade would be a step in the right direction but let’s not call it tanking – that would be insulting to all involved. It’s just smart business.

  3. fanofevilempire - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    I think they can get a better deal closer to the trade deadline if they want a draft pick in the trade.
    Lakers have to be aggressive about the future they are no better then a eight seed with a healthy
    Kobe and he is not certain to be 100%.

  4. emdawt - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Two trades for the Lakers

    Gasol for Bynum, Waiters and Tristan Thompson works or add Philly to make a three team trade.

    Lakers: Thad Young and Bynum. Cavs: Gasol and Evan Turner. Sixers: Varejao and Dion Waiters.

    • bougin89 - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      “Gasol for Bynum, Waiters and Tristan Thompson works”

      How does that work for the Cavs? No way would they do that.

      • casualcommenter - Jan 2, 2014 at 9:12 PM

        Lakers get huge cap relief (by waiving Bynum), a young guard prospect (Waiters) on his rookie deal, and a young front court prospect (Thompson) on his rookie deal.

        Cavs get a $19 million, past-his-prime Pau Gasol for half a season before he hits free agency.

        …Does that not seem fair? Lol.

      • bougin89 - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:49 AM

        Well maybe the Lakers could throw in Steve Nash to sweeten the deal. 😉

    • bhunter1995 - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      As a Laker fan myself, you embarrass me. There are always some fans who come up with these insane trades that will never work, you need to be realistic. Why would the Cavs trade two guys with a lot of potential and time left in their careers who both produce at around the same level as Pau Gasol, for Pau Gasol who has maybe one or two years left in the tank before he becomes a 10-15 minute a night bench player.

  5. scmjcm - Jan 2, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    If this trade happens, it would almost guarantee the Heat another chance at the title. With Andrew being waved, they would surely take a shot at adding him for almost nothing. And Bynum would be stupid to not go there for at least the remainder of the season for a chance at another ring.

  6. mogogo1 - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Throwing in the towel on this year and hoping the Lottery balls go their way would actually make the most sense for the Lakers… which pretty much assures they won’t follow that path.

  7. fearthehoody - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    Yes fantasy GM.

  8. spg3081 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    There hasn’t been one whisper that the Wizards are eyeballing Gasol. As a Wizards fan (I am a loyal DC sports fan which also makes me a masochist) I like the idea since I can see how much better they would be (if Gasol shows up to play). I’m also worried about what they would have to deal in order to make it happen.

    Trading their 2014 1st for Gortat wasn’t an awful move – Gortat does bring some good things to the table. Given that they are assuming 42-45 wins and a playoff berth (at least the playoffs are likely), they weren’t passing on Parker, Wiggins, etc. in the same breath they’d have an easier time dealing for a better player if they held on to the pick (they’d also likely have a few less wins given the games lost by others to injury as well). The Gortat trade also cost them their “best” expiring deal in Okafor. Without him it’s probably impossible to make the salaries work. Ariza would have to go plus enough other guys to wipe out an already think bench. Hell, aside from Wall & Beal the only other asset that May interest LA is Otto Porter.

    They can’t offer the salary and tax relief that Cleveland can (then again, who else could?). I would hate to see them deal their 2015 1st, especially without knowing if Gasol will be productive enough for a couple more years and that’s if he doesn’t bolt for Memphis.

    I started this comment in hopes of making a worthwhile fake proposal & start a conversation or be ridiculed. All I’ve succeeded in doing is realizing there probably isn’t a realistic option. In other words I’m stuck with my Wizards for better or worse, stuck next season with Wall & Beal, a hopefully improved Porter, plus Webster, Nene, and other assorted bodies. I assume they’ll pay Gortat to further justify that trade (plus he contributes well, especially as a screener). I doubt they pay Ariza after paying Webster (though it’d be nice). Damn, you mean I have to depend on my team improving it’s own young players if I want to see them take the next step? Well, stranger things have happened but aside from the current Nationals roster we DC fans rarely see that. Maybe Trevor Booker blossoms more. Yeah, that’s the spirit! Maybe Wittman works some magic with Vesely and turns him into…bwahahahahahaha!!

  9. cosme27 - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:58 AM

    Doubt he would want to play for lakers again, after getting traded for Howard

    • loungefly74 - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:01 AM

      he would be cut ASAP. this is all about $ and (it pains me to say)…tanking the season…jezuz, i’m just not used to that concept being a Laker fan.

  10. ocgunslinger - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    Make the trade even up, dump Bynum (never want to see him in a Laker uniform again) save the cash and be in a position to rebuild through both the draft and free agency. This season should be the path to the future.

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