The Los Angeles Lakers have opened preliminary talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers over a trade that would see Pau Gasol swap teams mid-season in a switch also involving Andrew Bynum, according to ESPN.com.
Both sides are thought to be far from a proposed deal but have until January 7th to iron out the terms, when Cleveland would be forced to make the second half of Bynum's current $12.25m salary guaranteed if still on the roster.
Bynum remains absent on full pay as the Cavs look to find a deal that allows them to waiver the injury-prone former Lakers star, after suspending him from first-team activities late last week.
The Lakers are not thought to have any interest in resigning Bynum are reluctantly pursuing the possibility of trading Gasol to reduce the wage bill, in a deal which would see the center wavered.
Gasol's exit would allow the Lakers to save close to $20m in salaries and luxury taxes, a deal too good to turn if it materialises for a franchise who has been in excess tax trouble in four of the last five seasons.
Cleveland are pursing their options in regard to offloading Bynum and have spoken to the Chicago Bulls about a quick trade, with Bulls star Luol Deng thought to be the other player involved.