The Los Angeles Lakers are looking for more than just a measure of payroll relief in a potential trade for Andrew Bynum, and that appears to be holding up a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The proposed trade of Bynum for Pau Gasol cannot be a straight-up swap because of NBA salary-matching rules, but ESPN.com reported Thursday that the Lakers are after more than just some scrub to even out the money. The Lakers “are interested in also getting a young prospect or first-round pick as part of the deal,” according to the report.
The Cavs, not surprisingly, don’t wish to give up either of those, so talks have stalled.
Bynum was suspended one game last week for conduct detrimental to the team. He was later reinstated but excused with pay from all team activities. He is receiving $6.5 million on a $12.5 million contract he signed prior to the season, but the remaining $6 million does not become guaranteed until Jan. 7.
The Lakers reportedly are interested in acquiring Bynum before that deadline and waiving him to save roughly $20 million from their payroll. The Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers also have been connected to a possible Bynum deal and appear to be his favored destinations.