INDEPENDENCE: The Cavaliers have acquired Marreese Speights, Josh Selby and Wayne Ellington from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for little-used forward Jon Leuer in a move designed to get the Grizzlies under the luxury tax and give the Cavaliers another appealing draft pick.
The Grizzlies will save about $6 million in salary, while the Cavaliers will receive a future first-round pick that is expected to be a lottery pick for taking on the added salary.
Assuming the Grizzlies make the playoffs this season, the Cavs can’t get their pick until 2015. The pick has top five protection every year through 2018, plus it is protected 15-30 in both 2015 and 2016. The pick has only top five protection in 2017 and 2018, meaning if the Grizzlies are still a playoff team in four more years, the Cavs will pick in the lower half of the first round. By 2019, if the pick still has not been conveyed, the pick is unprotected.
To make room, the Cavs waived Jeremy Pargo, whom they acquired from the Grizzlies last summer in another cost-cutting move. The Grizzlies traded Pargo to the Cavs for a second-round pick to avoid having to pay him his guaranteed $1 million.
Speights is a 6-foot-10 forward averaging 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in his fifth season. Ellington is in his fourth season and averaging 5.5 points in 40 games off the bench. Selby, 21, is a little-used guard who is in his second season after the Grizzlies selected him in the second round in 2011.
Speights is making $4.2 million this season and is owed $4.5 million next season. His contract expires after next season. Selby is making $760,000 this season and the Cavs will hold a team option for next season. Ellington is making $2 million in the final year of his deal, although the Cavs can make him a restricted free agent after the season by extending a qualifying offer.
None of the players the Cavaliers acquired today are expected to be available tonight when the Cavs host the Boston Celtics.