One of the factors that contributed to the Cavaliers falling to the Golden State Warriors in six games was lack of depth at the guard spot.
This trade makes sense for both sides, but for different reasons.
Let’s take a look at the positives first, as there are certainly plenty when it comes to Johnson. Cleveland acquired the 7-footer last July 12 from Charlotte strictly to use him in a trade this year.
The potential arrival of Johnson could signal the end of the J.R. Smith era in Cleveland as well.
Vardon expects Tristan Thompson, who is close to agreeing to a five-year, $80 million contract with the Cavaliers, to come off the bench at power forward. And although he put up extraordinary numbers-34.2 points, 14.4 rebounds and 9.4 assists per contest, without any kind of supporting cast to speak of, James’ Herculean effort was not enough. Not only that, Johnson shoots the ball at a respectable percentage, converting 44 percent of his attempts overall, including 37 percent from beyond the arc.
Johnson is a seven-time All-Star capable of playing both wing positions and filling up the scoreboard in short order.
Another player who is possibly feeling the impact of the Lakers’ recent push in the free-agency market is small forward Nick Young.
Haywood has a 10 million contract for next year.
The Nets and Cavs have been in trade talks that will move Johnson to Cleveland in exchange for Brendan Haywood and his $10.5 million non-guaranteed contract.
The deal would benefit the Nets financially as Johnson enters the 2015-16 season as the second-highest paid player in the National Basteball Association. But Varejao has played his entire 11-year career in Cleveland and is a noted friend whom LeBron has stuck up for on many occasions. According to Cleveland.com, Williams is interested in coming back to the Cavaliers and he could be a strong option for the team to consider in free agency. Varejao previously had signed a lucrative extension with the Cavs.
An already expensive offseason for the Cavaliers might be getting even more pricey in the near future. His PPG has been slowly declining year-over-year, but he would likely not be asked to provide as significant an offensive contribution with Cleveland as he was with the Nets.
The Cavs decided that they didn’t want to make that trade and suffer the tax consequences.