Gasol-Bynum trade talks surface
MANILA, Philippines – With injuries continuing to plague the Los Angeles Lakers, a trade involving Lakers' Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum of the Cleveland Cavaliers is being discussed, reports said.
According to a report by ESPN.com, nothing is set in stone but both teams are considering their options before the January 7 deadline of Bynum's contract, by which time the second half of his $12.25 million salary will be guaranteed.
The trade, the report said, will benefit the Lakers such that they will be able to ease their luxury taxes when Gasol goes to Cleveland and they waive Bynum. The report added the trade will give the Lakers extra financial breathing room to pursue bigger names in free agency next summer, which can bolster their roster when they push for a better showing next season.
The report also said that the Lakers won't simply hand over Gasol without getting something of value in return.
Bynum was a former Laker himself winning two titles with them before being traded in 2012 in a deal that saw Dwight Howard go to Los Angeles.
Another report by ESPN.com stated that Cavs star guard Kyrie Irving's MRI exam results will affect the team's decision to push through with the trade.
Irving sustained a left knee injury during the second half of the Cavs' game against the Indiana Pacers, where they lost, 91-76.
An update on Irving's MRI results on NBA.com, however, revealed that the injury is a left knee contusion and that Irving will be listed as "questionable" for the Cavs' upcoming game against the Orlando Magic.
Meanwhile, more woes befall the Lakers as guard Jordan Farmar is expected to miss at least 4 weeks with his second left hamstring tear in the past month, the NBA club announced on Wednesday, January 1.
Farmar missed 10 games in December with a torn left hamstring and was hurt again on Tuesday in the Lakers' 94-79 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
An ultrasound test on Wednesday morning showed the torn spot, which was in a different location to the one he suffered December 1 that benched him for 3 and a half weeks, the team said in a statement.
Farmar's loss is another major setback for a Laker backcourt that has already lost Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Xavier Henry and Steve Blake.
The Lakers, mired in a 6-game losing streak, are 13-19 with the third-worst record in the Western Conference.
Farmar has averaged 8.7 points, 4.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 22 games for the Lakers this season.
Kendall Marshall has taken over as the starting point guard for the Lakers in the wake of the injuries. – with reports from Jane Bracher and Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com