With deadline looming, Cavs near Bynum deal, sources say
JAN 06, 2014 11:26p ET
With whom and for what, however, remains murky.
Sources familiar with ongoing trade talks could only say the Cavs are close to pulling off a deal, and that the the deal involves Bynum -- or more accurately, Bynum's contract.
The Cavs must waive or trade Bynum by 5 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday to avoid paying his full $12.25 million salary. If a move is made before then, the Cavs pay just half.
According to sources, negotiations have both intensified and cooled repeatedly during the past week, with the teams unable to strike a deal.
The Lakers, sources said, are seeking another asset along with Bynum -- who the Lakers would immediately waive for relief under the salary cap.
The Lakers have made pitches for Cavs guard Dion Waiters, center/forward Anderson Varejao, center Tyler Zeller and a first-round draft pick, only to be shot down by Cavs general manager Chris Grant each time, sources said.
It is also believed the Lakers offered to swap first-round draft picks with the Cavs.
The Lakers' position appears to be that unless Grant agrees to one of the aforementioned options, they will postpone a decision on Gasol, sources said. The NBA trading deadline is in February, and LA could possibly wait to make a move at that time.
Meanwhile, the Cavs view the potential deal as if they are doing the Lakers a favor, sources said, by providing LA with some relief under the salary cap. In turn, the Cavs would receive a player in Gasol who would help them make a playoff push and serve as a potential trade chip.
It is also possible that a deal involving Bynum does not include the Lakers, or perhaps a third team to help facilitate a deal, sources said.
Bynum, 26, was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team last week. He has since been excused from team activities.