All weekend long we heard rumors about Andrew Bynum being traded. Here we sit on Monday morning, and so far, he is still a Cleveland Cavalier. The deal that all of Jazz Nation has heard and wondered about is the deal involving a Andrew Bynum for Richard Jefferson deal. Does the deal make sense?
First off, yes the trade works. Jefferson is making a little over $11 million, while Bynum is making just over $12 million. The Jazz however, like any team looking to make a deal with Cleveland, will look to get some sort of asset back in this deal. Mainly maybe a 2nd round draft pick in an upcoming draft.
If the trade were to go down, the Jazz would ship Jefferson to Cleveland which helps the Cavaliers out at the small forward position. RJ is having a fairly decent year so far. So far this season, the Cavs have started Alonzo Gee and Earl Clark at small forward off and on. Gee is only averaging 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds, while Clark isn’t doing much better at 6.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. RJ would be able to come in and provide some scoring, but doesn’t improve the rebounding much. RJ is averaging 10.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
The most likely scenario for the Jazz is that as soon as the trade is completed, the Jazz would waive Bynum so that he doesn’t even suit up in a Jazz uniform. Why would you trade for someone that you don’t even want? Well it’s a money saving move for Utah, and it saves them a good chunk of change.
In Bynum’s contract, If he is waived before January 7th, he is only owed $6 million. If the Jazz were to trade for Bynum and then waive him, they are getting rid of Jefferson’s $11 million contract, paying Bynum $6 million, saving the Jazz $5 million. However, doing that would put the Jazz under the required salary cap. Each team, according to the CBA agreement has to spend so much money in salary to their players. With this deal the Jazz would be about $1 million under the cap. However, better for the young guys, if a team is not over the required salary cap, the organization has to divvy up the remaining money amongst the players that are on the roster.
Another good deal for the young guys, this deal opens up more playing time for them. With RJ gone, the small forward position would need filled. The Jazz can really go 2 ways on this one. If the Jazz like the small lineup they play with Marvin at the power forward position and Favors at center, they could then insert Alec Burks at the shooting guard and move Hayward to small forward. This basically keeps the same rotation, other than Alec trying to produce as a starter.
The other option that I see, which I see as the better option, is moving Marvin to small forward, and putting Kanter back into the lineup. Stats have shown that Kanter has played better with more minutes, however, the wins and loss column shows that the Jazz didn’t do good at all with Kanter in the starting lineup. Regardless, moving forward, the Jazz will need Kanter and Favors on the court together and a move like sending RJ away would give them an opportunity to learn. The other great thing about this is that using Kanter and Favors in the starting lineup opens up a big man position off the bench. This gives room for a guy like Rudy Gobert to finally get back on the court and given a chance to produce.
In all reality, this is a money saving move, as well as a tanking move for the Jazz. Which is fine for most Jazz fans. This move gives the young guys an opportunity to play together and get the experience on the court. It may not result in wins, but it might result in landing a lottery pick that brings a franchise type player to Utah. I would support the move if Utah made it, however, with the way RJ has been a great mentor to the young guys, I would have to say that I would miss RJ in a Jazz uniform this season.