The Cavaliers chose not to extend Wayne Ellington a qualifying offer by this weekend's deadline, a league source told the Beacon Journal, effectively making him an unrestricted free agent. But the team remains open to re-signing him.
Had the Cavs extended the qualifiyng offer of about $3 million, it would have made Ellington a restricted free agent and given the Cavs the opportunity to match any offer he received in free agency. Now he's free to negotiate with any team, although the Cavs remain high on him and view this as a strategic move to protect their cap space.
The Cavs will enter free agency next week with more than $20 million in available cap space, but the exact figure is a moving target because of non-guaranteed contracts given to Kevin Jones and C.J. Miles.
The Cavs acquired Ellington in a mid-season trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. He averaged 10.4 points and shot 44 percent in 38 games after the trade. The motive behind the deal was the first-round pick received, which is expected to be a lottery pick.
The Cavs also received Mo Speights in the deal, but Speights informed the team earlier today he is opting out of the final year of the deal and will also become a free agent.