The Cavaliers have mostly stood pat since LeBron James left the team to join the Lakers. They let Jeff Green and Jose Calderon walk while signing Channing Frye to a one-year deal and adding Billy Preston as a two-way player.
There haven’t been any big teardown moves in the wake of LeBron’s exodus, but it looks like that could be starting.
Bayless, 29, has a reputation as a high-volume combo guard that struggles with efficiency and on the defensive end. The Cavaliers already have a younger player in that archetype in Jordan Clarkson alongside two other guards that will need minutes in George Hill and Collin Sexton. Hopefully, with that information in hand, that means the Cavaliers aren’t chasing Bayless as the highlight of the deal.
The Cavaliers likely would be looking for draft compensation to make things worth their while, and that’s where things get sticky. Kyle Korver is 37, and Bayless, while making a bit more than Korver this season, is on an expiring contract.
37-year-olds don’t normally net you a first round pick, even a heavily protected one. The Cavaliers might use Korver’s partial 2019-2020 guarantee (only $3.4 million out of $7.5 million guaranteed) to take on a bad contract in exchange for a sweetener, but this deal doesn’t match those parameters.
Philly has a treasure trove of second round picks in their war chest from the Sam Hinkie era, but it’s worth wondering how many the Cavaliers would require to send a useful contract in trade negotations and a worthwhile mentor to young players like Cedi Osman out in return.
Ultimately, it’s fair to wonder if the 76ers are the ones gauging the market here. The Cavaliers will get offers for Korver, and will have to decide the best way to leverage his contract.