It is no secret – the Cleveland Cavaliers want Andrew Bynum off of their roster. The 26-year-old big man has been suspended from the team indefinitely and has recently been involved in a potential deal sending him to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Pau Gasol. Those talks, however, have stalled and now ESPN’s Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst are reporting that the Cavs are in discussions with the Jazz to send Bynum to Utah for forward Richard Jefferson.
If the 11-25 Jazz were to acquire Bynum by January 7, they would be able to waive the second half of his $12.3 million salary which owes him $6 million, while also ridding themselves of Jefferson’s $11 million contract.
The Cavaliers are looking to improve at the small forward position. Jefferson, who is averaging 10 points and 3 rebounds in over 27 minutes per game would be a solid addition in Cleveland and can emerge as a veteran leader for the young playoff hopefuls.
Although Utah is interested in Bynum, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported that the team does not want to part ways with Jefferson. If the former All-Star is still high on their list, however, a deal can certainly still get done with other pieces.
Jefferson has previously stated he wishes to play for a title contender and described himself as a “gun for hire.”
Cleveland can also opt to keep Bynum on their roster and wait until the offseason to ship him off. All of his 2014-2015 salary is non-guranteed, making the two-time NBA champion a valuable trade piece.
In 24 games this season, Bynum is averaging 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds, while shooting 41.9 percent from the field and blocking 1.1 shots per contest.