Lakers Rumors: Examining Failed Trade Involving Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol

For the umpteenth time since joining the Lakers midway through the 2007-08 season, it seems Pau Gasol has again escaped the cold, lonely flight to another city.

Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported late Sunday night that the Lakers and Cavaliers were unable to find common ground on a deal that would have sent Gasol to Cleveland for a package spearheaded by former teammate Andrew Bynum. The deal, which had a Sunday deadline to account for travel, team physicals and league approval before the Jan. 7 guarantee date on Bynum's contract, could be hatched on Monday, but it seems unlikely.

This is nothing new for Gasol, of course. The 7-footer's name has been linked in trade rumors each of the past three seasons, and was even part of a consummated deal to New Orleans in the vetoed Chris Paul swap. Each time, by hook or David Stern crook, Gasol has managed to stay in purple and gold.

Trade action remained inert for the simplest of reasons: Neither side was willing to budge regarding what it felt was unreasonable demands from the other side. And looking at how negotiations for the deal went, it's really hard to blame either side for balking.

A Bynum-for-Gasol trade straight up does not work under the NBA's salary cap. Both Cleveland and Los Angeles are over the cap, and Gasol makes about $7 million more this season than Bynum, meaning the Cavaliers would have to attach salaries of at least $2 million to get the deal done. That much, in theory, is easy. The Cavs have eight players on their roster making between $2-$7 million, and Los Angeles has a few non-guaranteed contracts it could waive in a three-for-one swap.

Where the two sides understandably differed is what secondary asset would also head to the Lakers. Cleveland had interest in giving up only flotsam. The particulars beyond Bynum and Gasol have mostly been kept secret, but it seems unlikely that the Cavs would of...

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