Report: Cleveland Cavaliers considering trade for Joe Johnson

36 Comments

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.