Cleveland Sports Insiders

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Bynum for Gasol doesn’t make sense

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Bynum and Gasol (photo: NBA)

Bynum and Gasol (photo: NBA)

The rumors have been circulating for a couple of days now that the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers might partner up for a deal that would send one disgruntled center to the Lakers, while sending another disgruntled big man back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Reports are everywhere that Andrew Bynum and Pao Gasol may change teams.

There are some reports out there that this deal isn’t going to happen, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m just not a fan of this trade.

Why?

The move will definitively help the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers would presumably make the trade, then immediately release Bynum. This would allow the Lakers to get themselves under the Cap, and would ultimately save them over $20 million dollars. On top of that, the Cavs would have to trade them a couple of more assets to get the deal done. Ideally, the Lakers would probably like another expiring contract, as well as a first round draft pick and perhaps someone like Sergei Karasev.

The Cavs would get Pau Gasol for the rest of the year.

Will the Cavs be a better team? Of course they will, this year. In an Eastern conference that doesn’t boast many good teams, it could even get the Cavaliers into the playoffs.

Great.

The Cavs are 10-21, and unless they go on some kind of idiot-fringe run, they aren’t going to be a serious team heading into next season. No, I’m not saying the Cavaliers should call it a day, but I’m also not saying that this team should trade away potential future assets for a half-year player that will be gone next year. This team isn’t going to get out of the first round of the playoffs if they get there. Just let this team ride, unless you can deal Bynum to a team for a freebie sort of deal. Trading away a first round pick is fine too, as long as it’s one, and not a good one.

I’m not saying that Gasol is garbage here. He is a phenomenal player who isn’t happy right now with the way he’s handled in LA. He needs a change of scenery, and Cleveland could provide him with exactly what he needs. It would be even better if the Cavs could acquire him, then sign him to an extension. I’d be on board with that.

It just isn’t going to happen.

The Cavaliers shouldn’t give up on the season. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I like some of the things that this team is doing, and I do believe that Mike Brown might be the right guy for the team as they progress.

Even so, I do believe that the Cavaliers should only look at acquiring assets that will improve their team for next season. If they happen to fall into the lottery again, so be it, but don’t make your team kinda better this year, that could hurt you next year. The seventh or eighth pick could turn out to be better than their top five picks over the past couple of seasons, and that isn’t really to knock Anthony Bennett or Dion Waiters, but it does say a lot about next season’s draft.

I’m more inclined to let Bynum go, not really care where he signs, and go about letting this young team grow together over the rest of the year. There’s been a lot of bad at the beginning of this season, but there has been some interesting play on the court, that hasn’t all been bad.

Say goodbye to Bynum, give the coach and the GM next year to make strides, and begin to build for a 2014 run.

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