Cavs keep flexibility with new additions
Maybe the Cavaliers should change their popular slogan from “All for One” to “One for Three (and a first-round draft pick).”
That’s what general manager Chris Grant did on Tuesday — sending reserve big man Jon Leuer to the Memphis Grizzlies for forward Marreese Speights, shooting guard Wayne Ellington and point guard Josh Selby. The Cavs also obtained a first-round draft pick in the deal. The pick will be available, at earliest, in 2015.
Along with the trade, the Cavs waived backup point guard Jeremy Pargo and recalled forward Kevin Jones from the D-League on Tuesday.
Speights is a forward capable of playing center, a player the Grizzlies really liked who backed up both Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph in the frontcourt.
Ellington, who was obtained by the Grizzlies from Minnesota in the offseason, suffered through a shooting slump recently — but scored a team-high 17 points in an 82-81 loss to Indiana on Monday.
And Selby is a backup with potential, but a player who fell victim to a numbers game in Memphis.
“Marreese will strengthen our frontcourt, while Wayne and Josh will add depth to our backcourt,” Grant said. “At the same time, we are adding a valuable asset with another future first round pick, while also maintaining our future flexibility.”
According to a Cavs release, the draft pick breaks down this way:
“The Cavs will receive Memphis’ first-round draft pick in the first available year (which is two years after Memphis has satisfied its current pick obligation to Minnesota). Starting in 2015, the pick could be conveyed to the Cavs. The pick is protected 1-through-5 and 15-30 in 2015 and 2016 (meaning the Cavs would acquire a 6-14 pick), and the pick is protected one-five in 2017 and 2018. If the pick has not been conveyed by 2018, it becomes unprotected in 2019.”
Meanwhile, Grant speaks the truth when he talks about maintaining flexibility.
Speights has a player option on his contract at the end of this season — meaning he can opt out of his deal and become a free agent or re-sign with the Cavs. As is always the case, his decision will be based on how the rest of his season goes.
Meanwhile, Ellington’s contract includes a qualifying offer (Cavs can pick it up or let him test free agency) and Selby’s contract expires.
So it’s safe to say all three acquisitions are auditioning for both the Cavs and for potential free agency.
As for this year, the Cavs now have four guys who can play shooting guard: rookie Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles, Ellington and Daniel Gibson.
Gibson played just five minutes on the Cavs’ recent five-game swing through the Western Conference. Word around the league is the Cavs are aggressively shopping Gibson.
Kyrie Irving, Shaun Livingston and Selby are the point guards. Just as in Memphis, Selby may not get much of an opportunity because of the talent and experience ahead of him.
That leaves Speights as the player who is most likely to make an impact. With Monday’s announcement that Anderson Varejao is out for the year, the Cavs became even thinner in the frontcourt.
Speights is a solid energy-type with skills. A league source told FOX Sports Ohio that Speights seems primed for an opportunity to break out, and the Cavs may be the perfect situation.
Leuer, in his second NBA season and first with the Cavs, appeared in nine games and averaged 2.4 points. Pargo appeared in 25 and averaged 7.8, respectively.