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Broussard: Talks on Joe Johnson to Cavs "stagnant"

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

In a Sports Center appearance on Monday morning, Chris Broussard said that the Nets and Cavs have had talks on sending Joe Johnson to Cleveland, "there's nothing happening right now" and discussions are "stagnant."  He added that Lebron James is interested in progress of the talks, that "he wants as much talent as they can get."

He explained...

"At one point it seemed like the ball was in the Cavaliers' court The Nets were willing to do it .. Brendan Haywood's expiring, potentially non-guaranteed contract and Anderson Varejao for Joe Johnson. The Cavaliers balked. They were hesitant, they didnt want to do it because of the luxury tax implications ... It would put them heavily in the luxury tax and they didn't want to do it. .   Now it seems like the Nets don't really want to do it either. They're not willing to take back Anderson Varejao's contract. At one point, they were looking for a third or fourth team to take on Varejao. Now, i'm told that right now, talks are stagnant. So there's nothing happening right now. Obviously, this could be revisited at any moment

"The interesting thing is this. This is the type of thing that LeBron James is sitting back looking at it. He wants them to sign Tristan Thompson. He also wants them to improve the roster. Don't be content to make it to the Finals. You've got two all-Stars in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love who've been injury-prone throughout their career, especially Kyrie Irving. So he wants as much talent as they can get in case one of those guys go down. So these are the types of things he's looking at, saying 'We need to do a move like that' while he waits and remains a free agent. "

The parameters of the deal, as discussed by Broussard and his ESPN colleague, Brian Windhorst, would send Johnson to Cleveland in return for Brendan Haywood's expiring --and non-guaranteed through August 1-- $10.5 million deal and Anderson Varejao, who will make nearly $10 million next season and is owed another $10 million in 2016-17.  Varejao missed all but 26 games last season, due to a ruptured Achilles tendon. The 33-year-old center has in fact missed 50 plus games in four of the last five years.

In a later development Monday, Broussard's colleague, Marc Stein, reported that the Cavs are exploring alternatives to the Johnson deal, involving the Clippers.

Meanwhile, Bobby Marks told a Cleveland radio station, "From a basketball standpoint, It’s a No-brainer for Cleveland. He is a money player."

If the Nets were able to do the deal, Brooklyn could save up to $60 million in salary, luxury and repeater taxes, Tim Bontemps has written.