The Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies agreed to a four-player trade Tuesday morning that will send Cleveland forward Jon Leuer to Memphis for guards Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and center Marreese Speights. The Cavs will also receive a future first round pick in the deal; however the pick is protected until 2019.
The 10-32 Cavaliers were looking for some depth of the bench and some big man help following the announcement that center Anderson Varajao will miss the remainder of the season. The team accomplished both in this deal.
Ellington is in his third year in the NBA and is a former first-round selection of Minnesota back in 2009. He is averaging 5.5 points per game in almost 17 minutes of action.
Josh Selby is in his second NBA season after playing at Kansas. He has played sparingly in Memphis this season, just 5.9 minutes per game. The 21-year-old has great upside and has talent that was displayed in college.
Marreese Speights is probably the name that sold the Cavaliers on this deal. The 6’10 forward/center was a key contributor for the Grizzlies of the bench this season. He averaged 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in Memphis. The forth year player will likely see his role expanded greatly in Cleveland.
The draft pick is a confusing concept, one that Cavalier general manager Chris Grant basically invented for the NBA a few years ago. In 2015 or 2016, the Cavs will take the Grizz first-round draft pick if it is between picks 6-14. In 2017, the pick belongs to Cleveland if it falls anywhere outside the top five. It is unprotected entirely in 2019, if the process should take that long.
In return, Memphis gets forward Jon Leuer. The former second-round pick averaged about ten minutes per night in Cleveland, averaging 2.4 points a game.
The Grizzlies dumped over $6 million in the deal and reduced their payroll to keep Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol in town. Those three players alone will account for almost $50 million.
The Cavaliers made two other roster moves today to accommodate the trade with Memphis. Guard Jeremy Pargo has been waived from the team and forward Kevin Jones was called up after a one game stint in the NBDL.