This would be the now-famous contract of Brendan Haywood.
Joe Johnson might be the ideal solution if not for one big detail: his enormous salary. By trading Johnson – who averaged 14.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season – for Haywood, who they could cut without paying him, and Varejao, set to make $9.6 million next season, the Nets would save more than $15 million in payroll.
To make the deal work, Cleveland would have to include more to match salary.
After signing Kevin Love in a five year maximum contract, the Cavaliers desire to acquire Nets Joe Johnson through a trade.
However, while the deal may have plenty of intrigue surrounding it, this hardly means the Cavs should pull the trigger.
Cleveland should be wary though that they are not receiving the All-Star Johnson, though he does ocassionaly show glimpses of that player and has a solid double figure production.
Let’s take a quick look to find out. For one, Cleveland’s roster is shallow when it comes to perimeter shooters. Cleveland has been reaching out to West in an attempt to sign him, per Windhorst.
Johnson’s versatility and offensive firepower would be a welcome addition to the Cavs, however. He’s durable and his dynamic scoring could put Cleveland over the top.
While that’s all well and good, this wouldn’t be a flawless trade for the Cavs.
Johnson immediately becomes the replacement for the role left by free agent J.R. Smith. Along with that, they would also have to consider including Anderson Varejao, who suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon early in the season and is scheduled to make $9.6 million in 2015-16.
Say what you will about Varejao, as he’s hardly someone any team in the National Basteball Association would see as untouchable. His isolation tendencies fit in with how the Cavaliers played previous year as well, but he can also play in the pick and roll.
The Cavaliers and Thompson are working on a deal and according to Brian Windhorst at ESPN, talks have “slowed” in negotiations. If Cleveland was able to get Johnson at the expense of Haywood and Varejao, it would be worth it, even if he walked after the year. The trick here, is that he would have to take a huge pay cut, likely accepting either the mid-level exception at around $3 million, or the veteran’s minimum at about $1.5 million.