Cavs believe James is open to pitch

In addition to having size the Cavs need, Haywood has an unorthodox contract created when he was waived via the amnesty clause by the Dallas Mavericks. Haywood will be on the Cavs' books for $2.2 million this season but has a $10.5 million deal for the following season that won't be guaranteed until Aug. 1, 2015. This is one of the most interesting contracts in the league, and the Cavs could use it in a straight trade or a sign-and-trade to add a major free agent next summer, even though they aren't positioned to have cap space.

The Cavs still have several hurdles to overcome. Rival teams are skeptical that James and Gilbert will be able to patch up their differences in the wake of James' televised "announcement" and Gilbert's subsequent open letter that attacked James' character and got him fined by then-commissioner David Stern. There has been a cooling of the tension between the parties in recent years, but James still harbors some ill feelings that both would have to attempt to settle before any partnership could be renewed, sources said.

Perhaps as a sign of the Cavaliers' thawing relationship with James, Gilbert's letter was removed from the team's website Monday. It had been posted and available on the site for four years previously.

On a more basic level, the Cavs currently don't have the cap space to sign James to the $20.7 million maximum contract he is looking for. They have some players on non-guaranteed deals they could waive but will want to keep Anderson Varejao, who has a partially guaranteed deal and is the lone holdover on the team from James' years in Cleveland.

The easiest way to get near the needed space would be to offload the $6.3 million salary of guard Jarrett Jack, and the Cavs have been in trade talks involving Jack for several weeks, sources told ESPN.com.

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