Cavs discuss deal for ’Cats’ Wallace

Adrian Wojnarowski

The Charlotte Bobcats have discussed a trade to send forward Gerald Wallace(notes) to the Cleveland Cavaliers, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

The Cavaliers would use their trade exception to acquire Wallace, but have also pushed for a lottery-protected first-round pick for them to take on the two years and $22 million left on Wallace’s contract through the 2012-13 season, the source said. The Bobcats would receive a $10 million trade exception in return.

No deal is imminent, and the Cavaliers have until July 10 to use the $14.5 million trade exception created from the sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat for LeBron James(notes). If the NBA and Players Association haven’t reached a new collective bargaining agreement by the end of June, the Cavs would run the risk of having the trade exception expire during the lockout.

The Cavs also have expressed interest in using their exception on Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala(notes). Iguodala has three years and $44 million left on his contract after this season.

One potential problem for the Cavs: Sources familiar with the thinking of Wallace and Iguodala said the players do not want to join a team in the throes of a massive rebuilding project. Cleveland officials would likely have to weigh those sentiments when deciding whether to proceed forward in negotiations.

The Cavaliers are in freefall, with an 11-game losing streak and an NBA-worst 8-30 record. They have had numerous discussions about absorbing a player into the exception, but are strongly considering the proposed Wallace deal.

The Bobcats have been shopping Wallace for several weeks and discussed packaging him in deals to several teams. Charlotte has struggled to a 15-21 record, and replaced Larry Brown with interim coach Paul Silas last month. Facing significant financial losses this season, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan has targeted his highest-paid player as a way to trim payroll.

Wallace’s performance has sagged this season; he’s averaging 16.4 points and 8.1 rebounds. Still, Charlotte has won four straight games, including a victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, and holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.