Rumors: Lakers discussing Pau Gasol for Andrew Bynum trade with Cavaliers

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Ross Pickering

Ross Pickering is the founder of Lakerholicz.com. He's here to bring you daily updates on your Los Angeles Lakers, despite living 5,485 miles away from L.A. in Eastbourne, England.
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UPDATE 2: Jason Lloyd from Ohio.com also confirms that the Lakers are in “advanced talks” to trade Gasol for Bynum. He notes that Alonzo Gee would likely be in the deal to make it work salary-wise, while a young player such as Carrick Felix, Sergey Karasev or Matthew Dellavedova or a pick would also be included in the trade to make it easier on the Lakers PR-wise.

By taking on a young talent or pick, the Lakers can point to the asset they gained in the trade – it makes it easier to explain the deal to the fan base instead of admitting to saving money and/or tanking.

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UPDATE: According to Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. the Lakers are asking for a first-round pick in exchange for Gasol. Pluto says that the Cavs aren’t keen on the idea, though they do have Miami’s 2015 first-rounder which isn’t expected to be a high pick. Pluto notes that both sides are “serious” about making this trade possible, though. (H/T Hoops Rumors)

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It appears that the whole Andrew Bynum story could have a weird ending. Maybe.

According to Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne from ESPN, the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers have had discussions surrounding a Pau Gasol for Bynum swap.

However, according to the report, the Lakers would be looking to make the deal as a money-saving move and would waive Bynum before January 7 if such a trade went down:

The Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers have had discussions about a trade that would involve Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, league sources told ESPN.com.

No deal is believed to be imminent, but both sides are mulling it ahead of a Jan. 7 deadline when the second half of Bynum’s $12.25 million salary would be guaranteed.

By trading Gasol in a package for Bynum and then waiving Bynum, the injury-ravaged Lakers could save more than $20 million in salary and luxury taxes, which could help them maintain financial flexibility heading into the next few summers. A Gasol-Bynum trade would have to include at least one other player to make the deal work under league rules, and perhaps other assets from Cleveland.

I would be surprised if the Lakers pulled off this trade unless Cleveland compensated L.A. with draft picks or a young talent. I’m also unsure whether the Lakers would want to make a trade like this as it could be perceived as a “tanking move” in order for L.A. to have a shot at a higher draft pick in June.

As for the Cavs, instead of just waiving Bynum and gaining nothing in return, they could receive Gasol and take a gamble by paying out an extra $7 million or so rather than keeping Drew after the January 7 deadline. After all, the Cavaliers are out of the playoff picture right now and a healthy, engaged Gasol could help turn things around.

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