Dec 17, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Kosta Koufos (41) guards Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol (16) at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

NBA trade rumors: Cavaliers, Lakers talking Pau Gasol swap since offseason

The Cleveland Cavaliers must feel as if they’re just a piece or two away from contending considering their love affair with Los Angeles Lakers forward/center, Pau Gasol.

Reports have linked the Cavaliers and Lakers in ‘deep’ discussions about swapping exiled center Andrew Bynum for Gasol -  a player the Cavaliers have been interested in for quite some time.

According to ESPN, the Cavs previously had at-length trade talks with the Lakers regarding Gasol during the offseason, though the Lakers understandably pulled Gasol off the table when Dwight Howard signed with the Houston Rockets:

The Cavs have been after Gasol since this past summer, when they had extensive discussions with the Lakers, sources said. Those talks ended when Dwight Howard signed with the Houston Rockets.

Gasol, despite his age (33), is still a relatively effective talent and wouldn’t take away ‘top dog’ status from guard Kyrie Irving. He’s also a free agent at season end which would allow Cleveland wiggle room if Gasol for some reason didn’t work out.

In a straight-up swap, neither team has much to lose though the Lakers insistence on a first round pick being included may be too elevated of a price for the Cavaliers.

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Tags: Andrew Bynum Cleveland Cavaliers Los Angeles Lakers NBA Trade Rumors Pau Gasol