The Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic have obviously been working on a potential trade for weeks now. While the specifics of that deal are still being ironed out, the general framework has been leaked, reported on and analyzed for at least 10 days.
There is no way that this is all just a figment of some reporter’s imagination. At the very minimum, a deal between these three teams has been tossed back and forth. At the maximum, it’s been seriously discussed.
Or at least that was the general consensus heading into today. With a flurry of reports regarding how Dwight Howard finally wants to come to L.A. leaking and all the rumors about Cleveland supposedly being on Bynum’s “short list” floating around, everyone just sort of assumed that the only thing holding this process up was Orlando.
And then this report from the Akron Beacon Journal happened:
The agent for Lakers All-Star Andrew Bynum said he has held no discussions with the Cavaliers and doesn't believe a deal involving his client to Cleveland is imminent.
"I've had zero conversations with Chris Grant," said David Lee, Bynum's agent. "I would imagine any team involved in this trade would be smart enough to talk to us."
I was taken aback by the list, considering there is nobody in anybody's camp he could've been talking to. I have no idea where that came about."
The list that Lee is referring to, of course, is this alleged “short list” that contains Cleveland as one of the teams Bynum would be interested in joining.
So, what does all this mean? Several things.
It’s very possible that Lee is right – the whole “short list” thing could be a work of fiction. Up until the middle of last year, Bynum was considered off-limits for any possible trades. When would he even have come up with a grouping of teams he wouldn’t be opposed to joining? Plus, something about the squads on that supposed list always seemed off.
That’s not to say that the reports were purposely misleading – it’s just possible that the sources who informed reporters of the short list’s details were wrong.
Then again, it’s also hard to imagine that the Cavaliers would be this adamant (well, for them at least) about getting Bynum if they didn’t have a reason to think he’d re-up with them. Either they too were operating off potentially false reports, or Lee isn’t being entirely honest regarding the existence of that list.
The biggest takeaway from all this, though, should be that Bynum isn’t the one preventing a Dwight-to-L.A. deal from going down. Regardless of whether he did or didn’t put his interest in being a Cav out there, they’re clearly still looking hard at him. The reason this deal hasn’t happened yet is Orlando. It’s Magic brass who hasn’t heard what they want to hear yet, not Bynum.
(Kudos Akron Beacon Journal)