Grizzlies cut payroll by $6M in trade with Cavs
Memphis, TN, United States (4E Sports) – Memphis sent big man Marreese Speights, guard Wayne Ellington, guard Josh Selby and a future first-round draft pick to the Cavs for forward Jon Leuer.
The deal sliced more than $6 million off the Grizzlies’ payroll to get under the luxury tax threshold. They have been scheduled to pay about $4 million in luxury tax this season with a payroll of more than $74 million.
It allows the Grizzlies to keep their starters, Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph. They will also receive a trade exception of more than $4 million that they can use over the next year.
The pick is the most valuable part of the deal for the Cavs. In 2015 or 2016, if the Grizzlies’ first-rounder falls between picks 6-14, the pick goes to the Cavs. Starting in 2017, if the Grizzlies’ pick falls outside the top five, the Cavs then get the selection. In 2019, the pick becomes unprotected.
To get the deal done the Cavs used salary-cap space to absorb some of the contracts and waived guard Jeremy Pargo.
Speights averages 6.5 points and 4.7 rebounds and has been a key big man off the bench for the Grizzlies.
He will help Cleveland, with a 10-32 record — second-worst in the Eastern Conference, replace NBA rebonding leader Anderson Varejao, who will miss the remainder of the season due to a blood clot in his right lung.
Ellington is averaging 5.5 points off the bench. Selby has played in only 10 games, averaging two points. Leuer is averaging 2.4 points in nine games.
Cleveland is trying to maintain salary-cap space and stay away from any maximum contracts so it can be active in free agency over the next two years.