The Cavaliers have not had any luck in trying to deal Brendan Haywood and his sizable non-guaranteed contract, and the team now is focused on flipping Haywood for a traded player exception, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com relays. The trade Cleveland made earlier today which sent the rights to Rakeem Christmas to the Pacers was intended to give the Cavs roster flexibility and an asset they may use in moving Haywood to create a large trade exception within the next week, Windhorst notes.
While the Cavs haven’t made a final decision regarding what to do with Haywood, the franchise has arrived at the conclusion it will not be able to find a suitable deal to use Haywood’s $10,522,500 non-guaranteed contract, sources told Windhorst. The Cavs are now considering all options to move Haywood before August 1st, when his contract becomes guaranteed, as is shown by our schedule of guarantee dates.
The only teams currently possessing enough cap space to absorb Haywood and create a trade exception for Cleveland are the Trail Blazers and the Sixers, notes the ESPN scribe. The Jazz are also a possibility, but they would have to trade or cut several players with non-guaranteed contracts to engineer a trade for the big man. Cleveland will likely need to include a draft pick to facilitate a deal, which is a big reason that Christmas’ rights were dealt, Windhorst relays, and the 2019 second-rounder the team acquired from Indiana could be utilized in this endeavor.
Windhorst also notes that the Cavs felt comfortable dealing Christmas because they have another backup big-man option in Sasha Kaun, a 2008 Cavs draft pick who has been playing in Russia. The team still has $1.2MM left of its taxpayer midlevel exception, and they might use it to ink Kaun, according to Windhorst’s sources.