Early discussions between the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers could result in a swap of former teammates Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
ESPN reported the deal was discussed but could be delayed until the Jan. 7 deadline, which guarantees Bynum's salary for the second half of the season.
Dealing Gasol for Bynum and subsequently waiving Bynum would save the Lakers approximately $20.7 million in salary and luxury tax penalties. Cleveland would be required to send multiple players to the Lakers to make the salaries match under league trade restrictions.
Bynum was an All-Star with the Lakers but has dealt with knee injuries throughout his NBA career. He didn't play a game in 2012-13 with the Philadelphia 76ers after being traded in the multi-team deal that landed the Lakers big man Dwight Howard.
The Cavaliers attempted to lure the Lakers into dealing Gasol in July, but ESPN reported that swap was on the table only if Howard re-signed in Los Angeles.
The Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls made previous plays for Gasol, who is averaging 14.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.