Bynum-Gasol deal on hold for now
While there was disappointment a resolution was not reached by Sunday night, there is an expectation that talks between the teams would continue into Monday, sources said.
Both sides were interested in getting something done before the end of the weekend, but they could not get traction. The Lakers leave Monday for a road trip to Texas and the Cavs wanted to be able to process physicals of any new players before Tuesday's deadline for Bynum's contract to be guaranteed.
Though the discussions have been varied and both sides considered numerous possibilities, the central issue never wavered, sources said.
The Lakers wanted more than just salary savings that trading for Bynum and waiving him would bring, primarily a young player or valuable draft pick. Trading for and cutting Bynum had the potential to save the Lakers more than $20 million in salary and luxury taxes. The Cavs, who stood to add millions to their own payroll with the deal, have resisted meeting the price because Gasol will be a free agent at the end of the season.
However, after a close loss Sunday night to the Indiana Pacers, the Cavs have lost eight of their last nine games and have slipped to 12th in the Eastern Conference standings. Bynum's $12.3 million contract becomes fully guaranteed on Tuesday at 5 p.m. and the Cavs are re-evaluating their options in the wake of their current slump.
If the Cavs don't find a deal they like, they could waive Bynum themselves by Tuesday and save $6 million off their payroll. They also could also keep Bynum, who was suspended for one game last week for conduct detrimental to the team and has been excused since, and attempt to trade him again before next month's trade deadline.
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