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BY SAM AMICO
With time still remaining before Brendan Haywood’s $10.5 million contract becomes guaranteed, the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to look for the best available offer.
Among the teams said to be talking trade with the Cavs: The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns.
Haywood’s contract has been one of the hottest items on the NBA’s summer market. If he is waived before Aug. 1, the contract will become nonguaranteed — providing significant salary relief to the team that lands him.
The Cavs, however, want to use Haywood’s contract to add depth to a roster that already features the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and once re-signed, LeBron James.
Haywood, 35, played just 22 games for the Cavs this past season. Many around the league believe the 7-footer will retire if waived by the August deadline.
There have been no specifics on who or what the Cavs would want in return for Haywood’s contract — although it’s safe to assume they are looking for help at both the shooting guard and small forward positions.
The Lakers are one team that seems particularly intrigued with a potential deal for Haywood. After agreeing to a trade for Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert late last week, LA is hoping to make several more significant moves before training camp in the fall.
Several reports have suggested guard Nick Young is available. It is unclear if the Cavs are interested in Young or any of the Lakers at this point.
Meanwhile, an ESPN report earlier this week said the Cavs were discussing a trade that would send Haywood and Anderson Varejao to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Joe Johnson. But sources told Amico Hoops late Tuesday that the Cavs have not offered Varejao in any of their most recent trade talks.
Along with attempting to deal Haywood, the Cavs have been in continuous negotiations with forward Tristan Thompson on a new contract. Those negotiations stalled briefly, but small progress was made Tuesday, sources said.
Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavs could match any offer tendered by another team.