Last week there were reports of a potential trade between the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers to swap Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum as the primary parts of a mutually beneficial move. Apparently the Lakers want "more, more, more," and that has stalled talks.The Cavs are looking for other offers:
Cavs mulling a few trade scenarios for Andrew Bynum, with target of Monday to choose one. Unlikely Cavs send out significant asset w/ Bynum.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 3, 2014
Fear the Sword's Sam Vecenie wrote about it here, and their comments section seems to point towards a desire for Utah help. They aren't going to get Gordon Hayward, but this opportunity is real. And as a result of how real this opportunity is, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey seems to have dangled veteran small forward Richard Jefferson.
ESPN's Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst report:
Sources said Utah Jazz veteran swingman Richard Jefferson has emerged as a new trade target for the Cavaliers after ongoing talks with the Los Angeles Lakers on a deal centered around the swap of former teammates Pau Gasol and Bynum remained at an impasse Friday.
A deal with Utah that would send Jefferson to Cleveland and likewise allow the Jazz to acquire and waive Bynum before the other half of his $12.3 million salary this season becomes guaranteed is one of three primary options for the Cavaliers. The other two, sources said Friday, are continuing talks with the Lakers this weekend in hopes of hashing out trade terms both teams can stomach, or electing to keep Bynum beyond Tuesday's deadline and then reshopping him as a trade asset before the Feb. 20 trade deadline, or, if necessary, again in late June and early July.
Any team that has Bynum on its roster Jan. 7 can immediately wipe $6 million of its books this season by waiving him that day by 5 p.m. But sources said that Cleveland is strongly weighing the idea of keeping Bynum if it can't trade him by then, despite the fact it would fully guarantee the former All-Star center an extra $6 million.
In that scenario -- even if he never played another second for the Cavs -- Bynum theoretically could be an attractive trade piece in connection with the June draft or immediately after it because his $12.5 million salary in 2014-15 is fully nonguaranteed. Any team that has Bynum on its roster in July can erase the $12.5 million as long as he clears waivers by July 10.
ESPN reported Thursday that talks headlined by Gasol and Bynum had stalled, largely because the Lakers are seeking an additional quality asset from the Cavs on top of Bynum's cap-friendly contract, which could save Los Angeles more than $20 million in salary and luxury tax if it acquired Bynum next week and immediately released him. Sources say that L.A. also covets either a young prospect or a future first-round pick as well as Bynum if it parts with Gasol, but Cleveland has been unwilling to put either of those assets on the table.
It's believed that Utah's demands in a deal headlined by Jefferson and Bynum would be far more modest in comparison, given that Jefferson, at 33, has essentially been a role player for the past five seasons after a long run as a slashing scorer in both New Jersey and Milwaukee.
Cleveland, though, has been looking to upgrade its options at small forward for some time. And Jefferson, averaging 9.9 points in his debut season with the Jazz as an $11 million player, is shooting 41.7 percent from 3-point range and would bring some needed know-how to the position for the Cavs, who remain hopeful of reaching the playoffs in the inviting Eastern Conference after a three-season drought dating to the free-agent exodus of LeBron James.
Okay, so what this means is that the Jazz would trade their starting small forward to get an injury prone space cadet and waive him. He's not going to be used (hopefully) for anything but to be waived, check out his game log this season. Utah already has Derrick Favors on the squad, and he's arguably better right now than Andrew's 8.4 ppg / 5.3 rpg / 1.2 bpg. This is not a basketball move to win more games. This is roster surgery.
The Jazz aren't doing it to make cap space, the team is not at risk to pay the Luxury tax this season. And this team isn't trying to clear cap space right now to sign some currently unsigned vet to lead us to the promised land.
It's about removing Richard Jefferson. The if Jazz aren't getting assets back in this deal (as the rumors suggest) then playing Richard Jefferson big minutes and giving him a big role did not pay off, as we're getting not something good (like draft picks) back. We're not. It's surgery.
What is surgery? Surgery is the physical removal of something from your body that you no longer want. And if the Jazz do this deal, then waive Bynum it's clear that Dennis Lindsey -- who is on the record saying he's not going to tell a coach who he can and can't play -- didn't want Richard Jefferson on the team anymore.
This deal does work out for Richard Jefferson, who we are told that we owe a lot to, who is in a contract year and going to a team that needs a SF upgrade. He's having a bounce back year as last season he played only 10.1 mpg, and his recent resume lists two playoff teams wanting to get rid of him. Cleveland is playing around with Dion Waiters (SG, not a SF), C.J. Miles (SG, not a SF), Alonzo Gee (not very good), and Earl Clark (PF not a SF) this season. Jefferson is better than those guys.
He is not better than Gordon Hayward or Marvin William though. And Tyrone Corbin playing Jefferson big time minutes creates the most unnecessary log-jam of all human history. In a year of development and discovery our head coach can't find enough time for two lotto picks (Enes Kanter #3, and Alec Burks #12) because of Richard Jefferson's domino effect of meaning Marvin has to play the four -- and meaning Gordon has to play the two.
I don't have much hope for a trade getting done, but it's a nice idea. I like the idea of Dennis Lindsey playing Moneyball, and trading away A GUY WHO IS NOT IN THE LONG TERM FUTURE OF THIS TEAM WHO IS MAKING $11 MILLION DOLLARS, and make more room for young prospects who ARE part of the future.