The Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers have intensified their talks concerning a trade sending Andrew Bynum and assets to the Lakers in exchange for four-time All-Star Pau Gasol. But the Cavs have set a Sunday deadline for the deal, so if it happens, it’ll have to happen today.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne report:
After several days of stalled talks, the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers made progress Saturday on a trade that would involve Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, sources told ESPN.com.
The Cavaliers want to execute a trade by Sunday so it can be completed ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for Bynum’s contract to become fully guaranteed, sources said. Trades need 48 hours to be finalized so players can have physicals.
Sources are also telling ESPN the Lakers want a young player or a draft pick from the Cavs, which has been holding up the talks. The Lakers, as we mentioned before, are debating whether they should trade Gasol, or wait for their team to get healthy to make a push for the playoffs this season. If they trade Gasol, it’ll be a salary dump so they get under the salary tax threshold for the first time in seven years — thereby avoiding the pricey repeater tax, which goes into effect next season.
But Ramon Shelburne adds more on Twitter, saying the Lakers will only trade Gasol for an asset with value, which means the Cavs can’t just unload Bynum and a second round pick:
Lakers remain adamant they will only consider trading Pau Gasol for an asset of value. A second round pick doesn't qualify
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 5, 2014
As for that young player or draft pick the Cavs might give up in exchange for Gasol this year, USA Today‘s Sam Amick has more:
Still, according to a person with knowledge of the talks between the two teams, the only asset Cleveland has offered as of Saturday night is a second-round pick, and that won’t be enough to get this deal done. The person strongly refuted a news media report indicating a deal had been agreed upon and said the second-rounder simply wouldn’t be enough to get the deal done. What’s more, the two sides were far enough apart in talks that the necessary details of the deal regarding other involved players had not been discussed. Because Bynum makes about $7 million less than Gasol this season, other players would be required in order for the deal to satisfy league rules. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks.
Amick adds, via Twitter, that Gasol’s camp doesn’t see the deal happening today:
Skepticism on the Gasol front that it gets done Sunday too. We shall see, but that's what I've been told at the moment. Go back to bed now.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 5, 2014
Earlier today, ESPN LA tweeted out that the deal had been finalized, which Silver Screen and Roll picked up, only to see the earlier tweet disappear. Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio has more on whether or not the talks have heated up:
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) January 5, 2014
For now, we await word whether the Cavs and Lakers can reach an agreement by the Sunday deadline the Cavs have set in order to unload Bynum’s deal before they’re on the hook for the back-end of his $12.5 million deal, which has to be picked up by Tuesday. Trades usually need 48 hours to be completed, so all the players involved can go through physicals before the NBA OK’s the deal. If the Cavs don’t unload Bynum by today, they will have to either waive Bynum, or pick up that additional $6 million plus on his contract by Tuesday, which would make dealing him that much harder by the February deadline.
Does the trade happen today?
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