David Griffin and the Cleveland Cavaliers have been looking to trade center Brendan Haywood and his highly coveted non-guaranteed $10.5 million contract. There have been multiple reports and rumors that the Cavs were going to move him for a better name at guard/forward.
Unfortunately, the Cavs haven’t been made any offers that impressed them enough to send Haywood and basically $10.5 million on cap space when waived (before August). According to General Manager David Griffin however, the Cavs are in no rush to trade Haywood.
“When we acquired the Brendan Haywood contract we didn’t have three max players and one near max player on our books. You needed the vehicle to go get a sign-and-trade (in free agency). Well now we can’t even receive a sign-and-trade guy because we’re so far over the apron, we couldn’t do anything to get under the apron so it didn’t enable us to go into this free agent market and do a sign-and-trade with anyone.”
Despite the money that presents itself when Haywood is waived, and since Griffin seems to be in no rush to make a trade for any particular player. Instead, he’s looking towards turning Haywood into a potential trade exception, one he could use when the Cavs identify and correct an issue mid-season.
“Last year we were really successful toward the end of the season because we had incredible flexibility in the middle of the season and our cap guys had found a way to create the trade exception that enabled us to get (Timofey) Mozgov. If I could have a trade exception in January that enables us to identify our real needs and based on where we’re at with health and all that, I’d love to have that. We have to weigh every opportunity that’s presented to you and say, ‘Is this better than being able to call our shot in the middle of the year?’ That’s really kind of where we’re at right now.”
“If the names were such that we were willing to take them and not the flexibility (of a trade exception) we would. Right now there hasn’t been a name that’s been available that’s worth using that flexibility.”
Using Haywood as a trade exception may not be as good as an actual trade for a role player, but it could prove to be a smart move during the year if the Cavs lack depth in any one position.
Stay tuned with Cavs Nation for the latest on Griffin and the Cavs free agency decisions.