Today it was announced that the Cleveland Cavaliers had made a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies which gives Cleveland some new pieces and allows the Grizzlies to get under the luxury tax threshold.
Memphis sends the Cavaliers guards Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby and big man Marreese Speights and a future first-round draft pick. Cleveland in return sends Jon Leur and a trade exception of more than $4 million. They also waived guard Jermey Pargo.
The draft pick will be Memphis' first-round pick in 2015 or 2016 as long as their pick falls between 6-14, otherwise it remains the Grizzlies' for those years. It will be the Cavaliers' in 2017 or 2018 if it is outside the top five and 2019 it becomes unprotected. So at some point Cleveland should get a decently valuable first rounder.
As for the players involved, they are all expected to add depth to this Cavaliers' team.
Both Speights and Ellington have played extensively as reserves this season, both appearing in all 40 games for Memphis. Speights, a 6-10 forward in his fifth season, has averaged 14.5 minutes, 6.6 points, and 4.7 rebounds per game so far this year. Ellington, a fourth year, 6-4 player, is averaging 16.9 minutes, 5.5 points, and 1.1 assists.
Selby, who is in his second year from Kansas, has only played in 10 games so far. In limited time, he has averaged 5.9 minutes and two points per game.
The addition of Speights will help offset the news from Monday that Anderson Verejao will once again be out for the rest of the season. The big man, who was originally ruled out temporarily with a bruised knee, required surgery at the beginning of January after further tests revealed a torn leg muscle.
Varejao has been in the hospital since last Thursday due to blood clot in his lower right lung. While he is expected to make a full recovery, the Cavaliers said he will remain at the Cleveland Clinic for several more days to receive treatment and then will be on blood thinning medications for the next three months.
Since he has gone down, it has been rookie Tyler Zeller who has stepped into the center position. The addition of Speights will allow for more of a veteran presence to help the young Zeller and second-year Tristan Thompson.
The two guards will help to add depth to a position that has struggled after the main guys this year. Kyrie Irving has obviously been outstanding and Dion Waiters is performing above what some expected, but C.J. Miles has not been consistent and Cleveland has been unable to defend many of the league's guards.
The Cavaliers play tonight, as they host the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena. It may be the first opportunity to see the new players in Cleveland and will mark the return of Ohio State star Jared Sullinger back to his home state.
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