In a surprising move the Cleveland Cavaliers declined to extend a qualifying offer to Wayne Ellington. By doing so the Cavaliers would of made Ellington a Restricted Free Agent, and given themselves right of first refusal on any contract offers made by another team. This could of ensured that Ellington, who played well in his half season with the team, is free to move on to any team he wishes. The Cavaliers benefited from the trade that brought Ellington to the team with is shooting and veteran presence. Ellington was acquired along Marreese Speights and a first round pick in the future from Memphis Grizzlies for Jon Leuer. Today Speights opted out of his contract.
The reason behind this decision from the Cavs is somewhat puzzling. Ellington provided backup at the shooting guard and small forward positions last year. With Chris Grant as the General Manager the Cavs have been calculating in all of their decisions so it can be assumed that this is true of this decision as well. With both Speights and Ellington off the cap the Cavs now have over $20 million dollars in cap space to use. Its possible that the Cavs made this decision as a preemption to a move to bring in a large salary for this year, either through a trade (Paul Gasol/Danny Granger) or Free Agency (Andrew Bynum/Nikola Pekovic). The Cavs can structure contracts in a way that they use their salary cap this year, and the player brings home a large one year contract with team options, while maintaining their cap space for the 2014 off-season. Hopefully the Cavs are able to replace the shooting, versatility and veteran experience of Ellington if they do not resign him.