David Richard/USA Today Sports
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired a trio of players and a draft pick from Memphis as part of a trade that will help the Grizzlies avoid paying the luxury tax this season.
Memphis sent forward Marreese Speights, guards Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby and a future first-round draft pick to Cleveland in exchange for forward Jon Leuer.
"Marreese will strengthen our front court, while Wayne and Josh will add depth to our back court," said Cavs general manager Chris Grant in a statement Tuesday. "At the same time, we are adding a valuable asset with another future first-round pick, while also maintaining our future flexibility."
The Cavs will receive Memphis' first-round 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 Cavaliers. The pick is protected one-five and 15-30 in 2015 and 2016 (meaning the Cavaliers 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.
Cleveland needed front court help after it was revealed Monday that center Anderson Varejao will be lost for the season because of a blood clot.
The swap will free up some $6 million to keep the Grizzlies under the luxury tax threshold. Memphis would have had to pay $4 million for being over the line.
Speights has started just twice in 40 games this season and is averaging 6.5 points with 4.7 rebounds. He started 54 times in 60 games with the Grizzlies last season after spending his first three NBA seasons with Philadelphia. The Florida product has averaged 7.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in 305 NBA games.
Selby has appeared in 38 games over two seasons with the Grizzlies and this season is averaging 2.0 points in 10 outings, while Ellington is in his first season with Memphis after spending three years with Minnesota. The former North Carolina star is averaging 5.5 points in 40 games this season and has averaged 6.3 points in 229 NBA games.
Leuer has appeared in just nine games for the Cavs this season after playing 46 games last season as a rookie with Milwaukee. He has averaged 4.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in 55 games.
In addition, Cleveland also waived guard Jeremy Pargo to add roster space for the new acquisitions.
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