Latest rumor: If Cavaliers don’t find good trade partner they could hang on to Bynum

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Trades are about leverage — if you don’t have any you don’t get the best offers.

Everyone knows the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to trade Andrew Bynum after his recent suspension. So what kind of offers do you think they are getting? Exactly. There are teams out there that have interest in Bynum but if they trade for him they are on the hook for more than $6 million in salary the rest of this season, where if the Cavaliers waive him Bynum becomes a free agent and teams can snap him up for a minimum deal (or close to it, certainly less than $6 million). So they are waiting.

Now we get this little bit of spin out of Cleveland, via the Akron Beacon-Journal.

The Cavs have until Jan. 7 to trade or release him or they will be responsible for the balance of his $12 million deal.

If they can’t find a deal by Jan. 7, a league source confirmed the team is considering holding onto him anyway. They would have until June 30 to trade or release him before his $12 million deal for next season becomes guaranteed.

Leverage. Sort of. If you think the Cavs would pay $6 million to have a trade chip for the draft next June. The Cavs have $61 million in salary this season on the books, well short of the tax line, so while they save money without Bynum they aren’t paying a bigger penalty to keep him.

Other than the disruption he is around the team. Which is why the Cavs likely cut or trade him by the 7th.