Cleveland Cavaliers chasing Joe Johnson in shock trade

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NBA free agency has been a wild ride so far with over one billion dollars given out in new contracts, but the excitement doesn't stop there.

The Cleveland Cavaliers came in to free agency with no real plans other than to try and keep their top stars, which has so far been successful. LeBron James doesn't look like he's going anywhere, while both Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love have decided to stick around in Cleveland for the upcoming future. 

Cavs Trading

After keeping their most important players, the Cavs are now beginning to look outwards for new talent, and a shock trade for Joe Johnson could be at the top of their to-do list.


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Johnson In?

According to a report from Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Cavaliers have had conversations with the Brooklyn Nets about Joe Johnson and potentially trading for the shooting guard and his $24.9 million contract.

"The Cleveland Cavaliers are considering trading for Brooklyn Nets star Joe Johnson with their Brendan Haywood contract chip, sources told," Windhorst wrote late yesterday.

Trade Chip

Whilst on the surface this does seem rather insane from the Cavaliers point of view, it is actually quite possible. The Cavaliers have Brendan Haywood's $10-million, non-guaranteed contract that is an enticing prospect for some teams, which could be used to bring Johnson in.

"Haywood has a $10.5 million nonguaranteed contract if waived before Aug. 1, an asset that has gained value over the last several days as other teams use up their cap space," Windhorst added. "The Cavs have been looking for perimeter help, and Johnson would certainly provide a major boost as an additional scoring and shooting option.

Another Target?

However, sending Haywood alone to Brooklyn wouldn't make the trade work under the CBA. You can't swap $26m - the second highest contract in the entire NBA - for $10m. That's why another Cavs player has been mentioned, Anderson Varejao.

But this is where the deal could get a bit sticky. LeBron James basically runs the Cavaliers right now, and he is very good friends with the Brazilian big man, who was at the Cavs with LeBron during his first stint in Cleveland. 

Will LeBron be prepared to part with Varejao to bring in Joe Johnson? This is what the deal will rest on.

Johnson averaged 14.4 points per game and shot 44 percent from the field last season, which is the sort of scoring that Cleveland could have really done with in the Finals against Golden State. Johnson is a seven-time All-Star and was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 10th pick overall in 2001 out of Arkansas.

Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference

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