Cleveland Cavaliers trade Chris Andersen to Hornets

It won’t be the biggest deal made before the NBA trade deadline, but the Cleveland Cavaliers have created some flexibility by moving Chris Andersen.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to add some depth, perhaps via trade before the Feb. 23 deadline or more likely via a signing of someone off the street. Center Chris “Birdman” Andersen played 12 games this season before suffering a torn right ACL in mid-December, which has made him an obvious candidate to be traded or waived as the Cavaliers try to add some roster flexibility.

According to Marc Spears of The Undefeated, the Cavaliers have traded Andersen and cash to the Charlotte Hornets for a protected second-round draft pick. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin adds the pick Cleveland is getting in the deal is top-55 protected for 2017, which base on Charlotte’s current record makes it unlikely the pick actually changes hands.

The Hornets are expected to waive Andersen, who obviously will not play the rest of this season due to his injury and is not under contract for next season. But the Cavaliers do benefit from the deal, saving over $2 million in luxury tax penalties while opening up a spot on their 15-man roster with Andersen unable to contribute. Cleveland also creates a small trade exception with the trade, equal to Andersen’s cap hit ($980,431) , which will expire one year from Monday.

Where the Cavaliers go from here to fill out their roster, for the rest of the season and into the playoffs, is now a question. But recent 10-day contract signee Derrick Williams seems sure to stick around, and an addition (Jordan Farmar? Mario Chalmers? Someone else?) can easily be made with a roster spot to fill.

A big move for a big name like Carmelo Anthony is not going to happen for the Cavaliers. But shedding Andersen was an obvious move to make, in order to simply add a healthy player to the mix.

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