NBA Trade Rumor: Cavaliers and Grizzlies working on deal for Leuer and Speights

EDIT: It appears this trade is agreed upon and just waiting for league approval.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies are in talks on a deal that would see Jon Leuer sent to Memphis and Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, and Josh Selby coming to Cleveland. Per Windhorst, draft picks would also be included in the deal.

The Grizzlies have been trying to rid themselves of some salary, and this deal would certainly help them with that. Speights is making $4.2 million this year and will make $4.515 million next season. Wayne Ellington is making $2.083 million this year and will be a restricted free agent after this season. Jon Leuer is making $762,195 this season and will have a qualifying offer to become a restricted free agent after this year.

As for the talent impact, well, there’s not much. Speights is a solid offensive big man and a decent enough rebounder, but his defensive woes will fit in a little too nicely on the Cavaliers. He’s averaging 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 14 minutes per night. Ellington gives the Cavaliers some outside shooting that they do lack, but has never really developed as Minnesota or Memphis had hoped. He is shooting 42.3% from three point range this season.

[Related: Halfway Home: Cavaliers’ Stats and Trends]

  • Brett

    I get it, trading Leuer is basically like giving up nothing. I mean he has played in like, what 10 games? But I dont see much incentive for this trade. Maybe Speights and Ellington will be solid bench players but not much else.

  • Lyon25

    If Walton keeps getting minutes after adding Speights, I will lose it.

  • Harv 21

    help me out here, Andrew. Is this a trade to set up a future trade, by taking on salary for future salary-matching purposes?

  • Alex Ralston

    Selby has the potential to be a bench unit PG, and Speights is immediately the best big we have on our bench…really solid move to upgrade our bench unit.

  • Cooley Ford

    I’m going to have to assume we’ll get some type of pick or picks for eating salary. This is a salary dump, so they have to make it worth our while.

  • ChrisGrant

    Memphis needed to dump Speights’ 4.4 mill and Ellington’s 2.2 mill salary to get under the tax line. This could be a sign that Memphis is looking to make future moves. It is also reported that Cavs will receive a protected 2015 First round pick. The Cavs get 3 young players to see what they can do, a future pick, plus Ellington’s contract is expiring so it doesn’t hurt them moving forward. And they got all this for a D leaguer in Leur. Speights has a player option next season but is then a free agent the year after.

  • cmm13


  • mgbode

    my thoughts (and w/ my irrational love of the Grizzlies, I have watched these guys too much):

    Ellington – ugh. had such high hopes for him being a bench-scorer when he came into the league. he has been dreadful. i think he’ll struggle to get minutes.

    Selby – as bad as Ellington has been, Selby has been worse. completely lost and validating all the reports that he wasn’t ready to jump into the NBA but had to for family reasons. he is ONLY 21yo though and he was really good in college as a PG-scorer. he might have some potential in there but he hasn’t shown it yet.

    Speights – in Philly, he was a useful guy who ran the floor, played defense (cannot guard super-strong post guys) and caused trouble for opposing teams. His numbers fell off in Memphis (except rebounding), but I think we’ll like him. He has the potential to regain some of that lost 76er play by running the floor and not just having to sit around for mid-range jumpers because he’s playing with M.Gasol and Randolph. Not a great player, but a rotation-worthy front-court guy.

  • Yeah, this was all about helping Memphis get under the tax threshold and getting a 1st round pick in return while also helping with some serviceable bench depth. It doesn’t make the Cavaliers better in a way that hurts tanking efforts. Just a solid trade that helps both sides.

  • Harv 21

    so this salary taken on is the going rate for a protected first rounder? Chris Grant sure loves him his first-rounder collection. Now let’s see what he does with them. Liked how he used them to get Zeller, but how ’bout hitting gold once with a guy who drops beyond the lottery and then becomes an all-star, or trading for a real player in his prime.

  • boomhauertjs

    And it doesn’t give the Cavs any additional salary obligations for the summer of 2014 and “The Redemption”.

  • It’s tough to answer that first question. The new CBA is so…new…that we don’t yet know exactly how it will impact teams on either side of the rebuilding line. The buyers are probably the ones setting the market, though. Memphis had to get under or else trade either Gay or Randolph.

    The pick is a good one and the protection is favorable. The other pieces provide depth and don’t have to be on the books past next season unless the Cavaliers want them.

  • Probably not a coincidence.

  • tamaimbo

    Not that this means anything, but if Speights’ PER was to remain consistent from Memphis, it would be the third best on the team (behind Kyrie and Andy, in front of Tristan).

  • matt underwood

    Windhorst reporting that Cavs get a #1 too – not sure if it is the Grizz or not?

  • NeedsFoodBadly

    The incentive is the first round draft pick, I think.

  • Jaker

    Not bad Grant. Adding youth, potential and a future pick without giving up anything and only taking on a small contract. Not bad at all

  • BisonDeleSightings

    I love the trade. A 2015 first round pick, plus 3 recent first-round picks – a decent big man for the rotation, a combo guard project, and probably-not-good Wayne Ellington. All that for Jon Leuer.

  • Josh

    Selby was a really good pg-scorer in college? He averaged less than 8 a game on 37 percent shooting. He was pretty terrible for most of the season.
    I completely agree with the rest of the though. Speights will be a very solid piece to the rotation (if he’s not flipped to a contender before the deadline).

  • architrance

    We’ve got to be getting a pick in this deal. Looks like Memphis has already traded their 2013 1st to Minny (I don’t think you can trade consecutive 1st’s, right?) So 2015 would make sense. Solid pickup, just for the future pick.

  • architrance

    Also, reading the conditions on these future protected picks is just ridic.


  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I guess you don’t have to match salaries huh? This spells bad news for the NBA because teams will be taking full advantage of this in the future. This deal is ok around here because it’s the Cavaliers but honestly this deal is crap from a basketball standpoint. Watch Memphis go out and reaquire Pau Gasol or something now.

  • EZ

    You never had to match salaries when one of the teams was under the cap, did you? Even under the old CBA?

  • RGB

    Well, this trade doesn’t overtly suck.
    As a long time Cavs fan, what more could one ask for?

  • They can’t because they have to match salary or take back less, since they are over the cap. Only teams under the cap can take on significantly more salary than they give away.

  • gren

    That we send Luke Walton and Omri Casspi there way!

  • gren

    Only if your over the cap.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Good call.

  • JHop

    If the Trade Machine knows what it’s doing, then this doesn’t have too big of an effect…


  • mgbode

    Memphis is over the cap. They cannot just go “reacquire Pau Gasol” without giving up something of signficance (though I do love the idea of it from a Gasol-brothers standpoint as well as a Memphis fans were fedup with Pau standpoint).

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The Lakers should return him to sender and do the Grizzles a favor!

  • mgbode

    thank you. wow, my memory was bad on that one and I should have gone and checked, which lends even less hope that Selby will be anything but cut from the Cavs.

  • The_Real_Shamrock


  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Got it thanks

  • mgbode

    the way Pau is whining over his bench-role something rash just may happen. but, Memphis would have to give-up Randolph to make that work and I don’t think that Memphis would want to make that trade or that is the type of deal the Lakers are looking at making (they want more athleticism/speed – Randolph isn’t the point-forward for D’Antoni’s system either).

    not to mention Memphis just got under the luxury line and trading Randolph for Pau straight-up is legal but puts them right back over it.

  • woofersus

    This trade doesn’t put Memphis under the cap, it just gets them closer and saves a couple million in luxury tax. The only contract that carries over into next year is Speights for 4.5mil, (Selby makes the same as Leuer so it’s a wash) so it only affects the Cavs for that much outside of the cash spent this year. Not including the 1yr contract for next year, the Cavs basically bought a future draft pick for around 6.2mil and the Grizzlies sold one for around 9mil.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    According to Yahoo Sports Memphis is now under the cap by about $6M.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Oh I know but my NBA2K13 roster would be better with both Gasols as well as Randolph! 😉

  • The pick is a guaranteed lottery pick, top 5 protected. What this means is that it’s protected 1-5 and 14-30. It will roll over until the Cavaliers get the pick. Solid work by Chris Grant.

  • SDA

    nice keep infusing talent. solid job

  • woofersus

    I was going by the numbers on that trade machine link somebody posted. Perhaps they made some other move as well? Either way, we basically bought a draft pick. I’d hate to be a Memphis fan with that sort of thing going on.

  • King Me

    Ellington has found his shot this year. It gives us another shooter for Kyrie to find in the corner whenever he needs bailed out.

  • mgbode

    ? he’s shooting the same 40% he has on FG% he always has and his 3pt% up-ticked to 42% (though he was nearly a 40% 3pt shooter his first 2 seasons).

    he’s roughly equivalent to CJ Miles.