OCTOBER 21, 12:32pm: The Cavs are at an impasse with Williams and are trying to attach his contract to McRae in a trade in order to reduce their tax penalties, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Windhorst also confirms that the Cavs were essentially showcasing McRae during the preseason.
OCTOBER 20, 3:31pm: After waiving Toney Douglas last week, the Cavaliers remain in the market for a veteran point guard to back up Kyrie Irving and complement rookie Kay Felder, reports Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. According to Vardon, the Cavs have engaged in “advanced discussions” with at least one team and hope to make a deal before the start of the regular season next week.
While Vardon doesn’t offer specifics on the Cavs’ negotiations, he points to a couple players who could be moved in potential deals. Jordan McRae had a strong preseason, but doesn’t have a clear role in the Cavs’ rotation, and could appeal to trade partners. Additionally, Mo Williams intends to retire, but hasn’t formally filed his papers and remains on Cleveland’s books — his contract could be used to help match salaries.
According to Vardon, the Cavs have explored the free agent market for a potential solution at the point, participating in contract discussions with Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, and Kirk Hinrich. However, Cole signed a deal with a team in China, and Cleveland doesn’t believe Chalmers will be fully health until the new year.
If the Cavaliers do make a trade, they could put one or more of their traded player exceptions to use. Cleveland is one of just four NBA teams to currently hold a TPE, and their biggest exception is worth $9,638,554, which would accommodate a majority of the contracts around the league. Still, as Bobby Marks of The Vertical notes in a piece about waiver claims, the club will have to be careful about adding too much extra salary. Based on their current position in the tax, the Cavs would be penalized $3.25MM for every $1MM they add to their 2016/17 salary total.