LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert are each in line for sizable contracts.
Timofey Mozgov, who has a $4.95 million team option, is one of Cleveland’s few chances to lock up a player for less than market value.
Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:
This was an obvious move, because Mozgov is a solid starting center, and starting centers typically get eight digits.
But it’s not difficult to see the Cavaliers’ payroll – counting player salaries and luxury tax – eclipsing $250 million next season if they bring everyone back and trade Brendan Haywood’s contract. Removing Mozgov, because of the progressive luxury tax, could save Cleveland more than $30 million.
If the Cavaliers are going to try saving money, they’ll do it somewhere else.