With a plethora of injuries piling up and Kobe Bryant getting paid $24 million to recover on the sidelines, the Los Angeles Lakers may have finally admitted the 2013-14 season is a bust. According to ESPN, the Lakers have engaged in trade talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers and are working on a deal that would ship four-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol to Cleveland in exchange for Andrew Bynum.
The Cavs recently suspended Bynum for a game for conduct detrimental to the team and have excused him from games and practices while they look to trade him. ESPN reports a trade isn’t imminent, but both teams will look to complete a potential deal before Jan. 7, which is the deadline before the second half of Bynum’s salary (about $12.3 million) becomes guaranteed. Under the NBA’s rules, Cleveland would have to include one more player in the deal for it to go through.
ESPN also reports that the Cavaliers are discussing a potential trade with the Chicago Bulls involving Luol Deng. The Bulls have already stated they want to try and resign Deng at the end of the season, but if they’re unable to do so they would benefit more from moving him before the trade deadline to avoid letting him walk for nothing at the end of the season or going over the luxury tax again. But seeing as how a Lakers-Cavs deal seems more likely at the moment, we’ll focus on the ramifications of a Bynum-Gasol swap.