Lakers / Cavs Discuss Pau Gasol-for-Andrew Bynum Trade

Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Before every Laker fan figuratively jumps off a bridge at the sight of the title, it’s not what it sounds like.

The Cleveland Cavaliers recently suspended center Andrew Bynum for one game, and while there have been many rumors surrounding the cause for Bynum’s suspension, the Cavs GM, Chris Grant, released a statement saying the suspension was for conduct detrimental to the team. Cleveland seems to have lost patience with Bynum and is pursuing options to end their experimental run with the 26 year old center. Bynum is currently on a non-guaranteed contract worth $12.25 million that doesn’t become fully guaranteed until January 7, 2014. The Cavs are mulling over the decision to waive Bynum before that January 7 deadline, or trade him if they can find any suitors. That’s where the Lakers come in.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne reported late Monday night that a possible Pau Gasol-for-Andrew Bynum trade was being discussed. Now, again, keep calm everyone. A Gasol/Bynum swap doesn’t necessarily mean the Lakers are looking forward to reuniting with their former first round pick. Bynum’s non-guaranteed contract may be valuable to the Lakers. If the Lakers were to trade for Bynum, they can turnaround and waive him before his non-guaranteed contract becomes fully guaranteed on January 7. By swapping and dropping Gasol and Bynum, the Lakers could save over $20 million in salaries and luxury taxes, that could be beneficial in the team’s long term plans.

Shelburne tweeted that the Cavs have been pursing a trade for Pau Gasol since last summer:

The question now is if the Lakers would be willing to part ways with Pau Gasol. The Lakers were reportedly fielding offers for Gasol earlier this season, when he expressed frustration with his role in Coach D’Antoni’s offense. Gasol is in the final year of his contract and is earning $19 million this season—his future with the Lakers may be uncertain, but Shelburne reports that the Lakers may be unwilling to part ways with Gasol unless they receive some considerable value in return:

Is saving $20 million in salaries and luxury taxes enough value for the Lakers to part ways with the 4-time All-Star who helped secure back-to-back championships?

I guess we’ll find out by January 7.

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