Los Angeles • As the Cleveland Cavaliers look to unload Andrew Bynum before his $12 million contract becomes fully guaranteed, the Utah Jazz have emerged as a possible suitor, according to an ESPN report.
ESPN reported Friday that Cleveland officials, who have reportedly seen talks with the Los Angeles Lakers stall of late, have discussed a possible trade involving Jazz forward Richard Jefferson.
Jefferson, a 33-year-old forward acquired last summer in a trade with Golden State, will make $11 million in the final year of his contract. Bynum, who was suspended by the Cavaliers last week for “conduct detrimental to the team,” would be owed just $6 million this season if he is waived before his contract becomes fully guaranteed next week.
The move would reportedly be a money-saving venture for the Jazz. Meanwhile, Jefferson, who is averaging 9.9 points a game for the Jazz, could be of short-term help to the Cavs as they try to contend for a playoff spot in the East.
Asked about possible trade talks earlier this week, Jefferson said he pays little mind to them.
“A lot of us got here through trades,” he said. “We don’t sit and worry about it. You can’t control something that’s in somebody else’s hands.”
Utah is in a rebuilding year, and with six players in the final year of contracts and cap space to spare, the Jazz will certainly be involved in plenty of talks in the run up to the Feb. 20 trade deadline.
“It’s where we’ve been, man,” coach Ty Corbin said. “The theme is the same. We are the family and the team right now and that’s all we can control.”
Corbin said he does not want players “looking over their shoulders.”
“You want to make your players feel as comfortable and as relaxed as they can while they’re here, until anything else happens, so they can play and we can be as good as we can be,” he said.