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Windhorst: Cavs talking to Nets about Joe Johnson

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ESPN's Brian Windhorst reports that the Nets and Cavaliers are talking about a trade that would sent Joe Johnson to Cleveland for Brendan Haywood's $10.5 million non-guaranteed contract and other assets, possibly Anderson Varejao.

Specifically, Windhorst writes...

The Cleveland Cavaliers are considering trading for Brooklyn Nets star Joe Johnson with their Brendan Haywood contract chip, sources told ESPN.com.

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

To make the contracts match, the Cavs would have to add other pieces. Windhorst suggests that the 32-year-old Varejao would fit.

One possible option for the Cavs would be sending big man Anderson Varejao to the Nets in such a deal. Varejao will make $9.6 million this upcoming season as part of an extension he signed last year. Varejao is coming off of a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered last December but is on track to return by the start of the season.

When healthy, Varejao is a tough big man but he has missed more than 50 games in four of the last five seasons, troubled with injuries both large and nagging. Last season, he played only 26, averaging 9.6 points and 6.5 rebounds. He is owed $20 million over the next two seasons with a team option in the third year of the extension he signed last summer ... at the insistence of LeBron James.

Tim Bontemps reports that if the trade was Johnson for Haywood and Varejao, the Nets would save $60 million in salary plus luxury and repeater taxes.

If Johnson were traded to the Cavaliers, it would mean the Nets record luxury tax payments of $90 million in 2013-14 would easily be eclipsed by the Cavaliers next season.