CLEVELAND: Time is winding down on the options regarding Andrew Bynum, but no deal was struck Sunday as the Cavs continue negotiating with the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz and others over a possible trade.
Any team that acquires Bynum must waive him by Tuesday in order for him to clear waivers in time to have his salary removed from their cap, but any players the Cavs acquire will have to first pass a physical unless the team agrees to waive it.
ESPN.com reported the Cavs and Lakers were hopeful of completing a deal Sunday for Pau Gasol, but that didn’t happen. Gasol played for the Lakers on Sunday night while the two sides continue negotiating. The Lakers are insisting on assets beyond luxury tax relief, but thus far Cavs General Manager Chris Grant hasn’t budged. The Cavs are offering tax relief and little else.
One source described the talks as stalled late Sunday night, but another source said talks have been off and on throughout the negotiations. No deal is considered dead until 5 p.m. Tuesday, when the deadline is reached for Bynum to be waived for cap relief.
Bynum’s agent, David Lee, said Sunday he has been told nothing by the Cavs. Wherever Bynum is traded, his stay will be brief. He is expected to be released, since only about half of his $12 million contract is guaranteed. Any team that acquires Bynum can waive him without paying him a dollar and shed $12 million off their cap. He will then be free to sign with any team in the NBA, likely for the league minimum.
Cavs coach Mike Brown didn’t want to discuss the trade talks prior to Sunday’s game against the Pacers.
“Those are great questions for Chris,” Brown said. “I’m coaching the guys in the locker room.”
Yahoo Sports reported Sunday the Lakers were seeking Dion Waiters as part of the trade, but a league source said Sunday the Cavs weren’t interested in parting with Waiters for what will likely be a brief rental of Gasol.
Kyrie Irving missed his third consecutive game with what the Cavs are calling a contused right knee. He is considered day-to-day, although Tuesday will mark one week since the injury. Irving was doing some light shooting on the court prior to Sunday’s game, but Brown said he hasn’t really been through a strenuous workout on the court since injuring the knee last week at Indiana.
“I have to see him on the floor,” Brown said, adding he’d like to see Irving go through a practice first before playing. The Cavs are off today following a back-to-back and host the 76ers on Tuesday, but without a practice day, Irving should be considered doubtful.
Waiters heating up
With Irving out, Waiters has tried carrying the load offensively. He had 26 points Saturday in the loss at Brooklyn and he had 14 points and five assists Sunday, including 12 consecutive points in the fourth quarter.
Brown said he still has no plans to start Waiters because he likes the energy he’s bringing off the bench, comparing him to the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili.
“He helps that second unit score and move the ball,” Brown said. “You can look around the league. There are a lot of guys who come off the bench who are ‘starters.’ The king of all that is Manu. He could probably start for any team in the league even at his age now. He knows what his role is and he helps his team win games by doing that.”
Waiters is averaging 16.7 points in six games since returning from a wrist injury, but he is only shooting around 40 percent and he’s averaging more turnovers per game (3.2) than assists (2.2).
“He’s doing a better job of attacking,” Brown said. “He has to attack and finish. When you attack and you finish, whether it’s with the pass or a bucket, it creates more space for you”