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As Cavaliers look elsewhere, Joe Johnson deal looks dead

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With their signing of Mo Williams and their interest in Jamal Crawford, the Cavaliers seem to be moving away from the big ticket Joe Johnson deal and more at the NBA bargain bin.  As Chris Broussard noted on Sports Center, it's all about sticker shock...

The Cavaliers are balking right now because of the luxury tax --we talked about that yesterday.  It would be $104 million. luxury tax, if they traded for Joe Johnson.  That's why they're looking at other situations and we know Jamal Crawford is one of the top sixth men in the league. He's somewhat like J.R. Smith but he's better and more reliable and of course one of the most clutch players in the league. So there's talk right there with the Clippers. Right now, I think the Cavs see this as more of a favorable option than Joe Johnson.

Also, it's been days since the last discussions between the Nets and Cavaliers, leading one of Broussard's colleagues to tweet...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Johnson talks could always be revived, but very complicated with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cavs?src=hash">#Cavs</a> worried about tax and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nets?src=hash">#Nets</a> wanting third team to take Varejao.</p>&mdash; Mike Mazzeo (@MazzESPN) <a href="https://twitter.com/MazzESPN/status/618455405153382400">July 7, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The two key elements to any deal, other than LeBron James interest in teaming with Johnson, would be the Nets ability to reduce its luxury tax bill by acquiring Brendan Haywood's $10.5 million non-guaranteed (until August 1) contract and the Cavs willingness to dump the oft-injured Anderson Varejao, who's owed $20 million over two years.

But the huge tax bill facing Cavs owner Dan Gilbert --larger than the one Mikhail Prokhorov paid a year ago-- seems, at least at this point, to rule the day.