Cavs trade ‘Birdman’ Andersen to Hornets, who release him

MEMPHIS, TN - DECEMBER 14: Chris Andersen #00 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on against the Memphis Grizzlies during the game at FedExForum on December 14, 2016 in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis defeated Cleveland 93-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (AP) The Cavaliers traded injured center Chris Andersen and cash to the Charlotte Hornets for a protected top-55 second-round draft pick.

Monday’s move opens a roster spot for Cleveland and gives the defending NBA champions another asset to use for future deals.

In a subsequent move, the Hornets immediately announced they waived Andersen.

Andersen, best known for his tattoos and hustle on the floor, suffered a season-ending injury to his right knee during practice on Dec. 16 and underwent surgery. The 38-year-old nicknamed Birdman has remained with the club during his rehab.

Cavs general manager David Griffin has been re-tooling his roster, dealing for shooting specialist Kyle Korver and signing forward Derrick Williams to a 10-day contract. It’s a safe bet that Griffin will make additional moves as the Cavs try to defend their title.

The NBA trading deadline is Feb. 23.