ORLANDO, Fla. - Joe Johnson's name is apparently still coming up in trade talks and the Cavaliers reportedly have him on their radar.
According to ESPN, the Cavaliers are interested in acquiring Johnson and are thinking about using Brendan Haywood's contract as the main chip. Haywood is owed $10.5 million next season, but his contract reportedly isn't guaranteed if he's waived before Aug. 1, making it a valuable trade piece to help a team alleviate cap space.
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That could be beneficial for the Nets, who are staring at paying the repeater tax next season if they don't shed payroll. They are going to shell out more than $81 million in salary to four players alone -- Johnson, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young -- next season.
Since Johnson will earn $24.8 million next season in the final year of his deal, Cleveland would have to offer up at least another player to make the salaries match. Anderson Varejao, who sat out most of this past season with a torn left Achilles, reportedly is a consideration.
Varejao, scheduled to collect $9.6 million in salary in 2015-16, signed a four-year contract extension in November before getting injured and he would be a solid backup at center to Brook Lopez. His deal is worth $10.3 million in 2016-17 and the 2017-18 salary of $10 million is non-guaranteed.
Johnson, who has been moved three times in his 15-year career, is no stranger to trade talk. The Nets also reportedly had discussions with the Grizzlies earlier in the offseason, but the two sides couldn't agree on an amenable package for Johnson and the talks cooled.
In February, chatter surfaced about the Nets dangling Johnson to the Hornets for Brooklyn native Lance Stephenson. There was also trade talk with the Pistons for a package centered around injured point guard Brandon Jennings just before the Feb. 19 deadline.
Johnson acknowledged the rumblings then, mentioning how he planned on keeping his cellphone handy leading up to the deadline. Now with his name cropping up again, Johnson may want to make sure his phone is fully charged during these next few weeks. Just in case.