While the Cavaliers continue to negotiate with the Lakers regarding a Pau Gasol for Andrew Bynum swap, they believe they do have a back-up option on the table if they need to abandon those talks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
Cleveland has talked to the Utah Jazz on trading Bynum for forward Richard Jefferson, but has yet to re-engage on those talks over the weekend, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The Cavaliers are willing to part with a second-round pick in a Bynum-for-Jefferson deal, which Cleveland officials believe is likely enough return to make the transaction worth the Jazz's trouble.
Utah will lose Jefferson without compensation to free agency at season's end, and a pick gives them some value for a player they acquired in a Golden State Warriors salary dump last February.
So the deal would likely be Bynum and a 2nd round pick for Jefferson. That's not a disaster. Jefferson is a shell of what he was back in his Nets days, but he's still shooting 42% from three and brings the vaunted "veteran leadership" to a team that desperately needs it. He is also a small forward, which is an excellent positional and schematic fit for a team that really doesn't have one.
As far as answering the question, "Why Richard Jefferson?" whenever ninety percent of you probably thought he was out of the NBA, keep in mind that two coaches on the coaching staff have experience with him in the past. Jim Boylan was an assistant coach in Milwaukee while Jefferson spent a season there and Bret Brielmaier was a player development assistant as well as a video coordinator during Jefferson's time in San Antonio. This helps to make a bit more sense of the situation.
We should find out soon what the plan is for Bynum's contract.