The Cavaliers and Nets were reportedly discussing a trade for Joe Johnson.
Brendan Haywood, whose contract is fully unguaranteed and therefore could be immediately waived with no cap hit, would be the centerpiece going to Brooklyn. But he alone doesn’t make enough to match Johnson’s salary. So, Anderson Varejao would also likely be involved.
One problem: Nobody wants Varejao, who is owed $9,638,554, $10,361,446 ($9,361,446 guaranteed) and $10,000,000 ($0 guaranteed) the next three seasons.
Signing Varejao to a contract extension before the season seemed silly. It became even worse when Varejao suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in December.
Now, Varejao – who turns 33 before the season – is overpaid and damaged goods. A trade that depends on some mystery team taking him probably won’t happen.
Maybe the Nets agree to take him in order to dump Johnson and lower their luxury-tax bill. Or maybe the Cavaliers want Johnson so badly, they send draft picks to entice Brooklyn – or a third team like the the 76ers – to take Varejao.
So, I wouldn’t call this dead yet. But don’t hold your breath.
Dan Gilbert is opening up the checkbook for the Cavaliers this 0ff-season. He maxed out Kevin Love, and once Tristan Thompson and LeBron James are re-signed (and they will be) the Cavaliers will have the highest payroll in the Association. And a healthy tax bill to boot.
But Gilbert may not be done spending.
The Cavaliers have had conversations with the Brooklyn Nets about Joe Johnson and his $24.9 million contract next year, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are considering trading for Brooklyn Nets star Joe Johnson with their Brendan Haywood contract chip, sources told ESPN.com
Haywood has a $10.5 million nonguaranteed contract if waived before Aug. 1, an asset that has gained value over the last several days as other teams use up their cap space. The Cavs have been looking for perimeter help, and Johnson would certainly provide a major boost as an additional scoring and shooting option.
Haywood’s deal alone would not be enough to balance the salaries and make the trade work (under the CBA guidelines), it would take about another $10 million — which is why Anderson Varejao’s name has come up. He is owed $9.6 million next year, which puts this deal in the ballpark. Varejao played in just 26 games last season due to an Achilles injury, but he averaged 9.8 points on 55.5 percent shooting, plus grabbed 6.5 rebounds a game before going down. He’s a solid NBA big man when healthy.
Windhorst suggests the Cavaliers interest in David West could be tied to losing Varejao.
Brooklyn is looking to trade both Johnson and Deron Williams this summer, they realize it’s time to blow up what they have, save money and rebuild. Johnson is the one that is far more likely to be traded. While he will make $24.9 million next season it is the last year of that deal. Plus he still provides value on the court, scoring 14.4 points a game and shooting 35.9 percent from three last season. He’s not one of the best shooting guards in the league like he was, but he can still help a team.
We’ll see if the Cavs are willing to go here, but they are talking.
When the Brooklyn Nets shipped Mason Plumlee out the door on draft night, trading him to Portland, it was a sign they were very confident they could bring back free agents Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young. As New York Post Nets writer Tim Bontemps noted, the only other bigs on the roster are Cory Jefferson, Earl Clark, and Chris McCullough.
The Nets need Lopez and Young back, and the sense around the league is they will get just that.
From Marc Stein and Mike Mazzeo of ESPN:
Rival teams interested in Brooklyn Nets free agents Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young are increasingly convinced that they have no shot at luring either one away from the incumbent Nets, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that both Lopez and Young are widely expected to reach verbal agreements on new deals with the Nets early in free agency, which officially begins Wednesday at midnight.
Not long after free agency opens, the Nets are expected to reach a verbal agreement with Lopez for three-years, $60 million, while Young will get in the neighborhood of four years, $50 million, according to multiple reports. The two sides can start negotiating on July 1, but no deal can be signed around the league until July 9 (there is a moratorium).
The Nets are active on other fronts as well. They are trying to trade Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, both guys are making more than $20 million next season and the Nets want to reduce or eliminate their luxury tax.
Mazzeo also added this about another Nets free agent.
Memphis needs more help on the wings. They have an excellent, old-school front like with Marc Gasol — who almost certainly will re-sign in Memphis — and Zach Randolph, but they need to space the floor with shooting. They traded for Matt Barnes, who fits their grit-and-grind style but also shot 36 percent from three last season. They’ve been linked to talks for Denver’s Danilo Gallinari.
And they went after the Nets’ Joe Johnson.
However, the deal fell apart, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.
The teams could not find a workable deal and have tabled discussions, but sources told ESPN.com that the Nets were encouraged enough in general to believe that they will ultimately find a trade taker for Johnson’s mammoth contract, which only has one season left to run but at a massive $24.9 million in 2015-16.
The Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons are among the other teams, like Memphis, to register exploratory interest in Johnson in recent months, but trades made recently by both teams — with the Hornets acquiring Nicolas Batum from Portland and the Pistons nabbing Ersan Ilyasova from Milwaukee — would appear to take them out of the Johnson mix.
The first takeaway here is that the Grizzles are serious about getting some more firepower on the wings this season. Finally.
The other (and it’s not a surprise, it’s been talked about before) is that the Nets want to move both Johnson and Deron Williams this summer as they remake their roster and work to get under the luxury tax line. It was always more likely that Johnson would be traded — while he is owed $24.9 million next season it is the last year of that deal. Plus he still provides value on the court, scoring 14.4 points a game and shooting 35.9 percent from three last season. While his game has slipped from its peak and he’s not super efficient, he can still make some plays.
Moving Deron Williams — whose game has slid farther and who is owed $43 million over the next two seasons — will be more challenging. Brooklyn also is shopping point guard Jarrett Jack.
With the draft less than two weeks away, signs are starting to come out that some teams are looking to move up. The Nets are one of those teams, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, and they’re willing to move former first-round pick Mason Plumlee to make that happen.
The Nets should get some decent offers for Plumlee, a young, promising big man. But the fact that they’re in this position at all underscored just how badly Billy King has managed things the past few years. They have the 29th pick because of a pick swap they agreed to in 2012 with the Hawks for Joe Johnson, and in order to recover from that misstep, they now have to potentially move one of the only legitimately intriguing young prospects on their roster to have a chance at getting a draft pick commensurate with their mediocrity the past few seasons.