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Cavaliers, Grizzlies trade Speights and Selby for Leuer

Jan 22, 2013, 9:08 AM EDT

Marreese Speights AP

Memphis has been looking for a way to get under the luxury tax line for this season — they may have just found it without shipping Rudy Gay out the door.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN broke news of a trade that could benefit both teams on twitter, then Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports confirmed it as a done deal.

The trade sends Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a protected 2015 first-round pick to Cleveland for Jon Leuer.

For Memphis, this is all about the money. It is a cash dump. They are about $4 million over the NBA’s luxury tax line and this deal saves the a little more than $4 million, moving them under the line as payers.

One of the reasons Rudy Gay was being shopped around was to save money, this saves the cash while keeping the team’s core players intact for a playoff run. No Rudy Gay trade, no Zach Randolph trade. For now. Look for Gay to be shopped around more this summer.

For Cleveland, this is about getting some help on the front line with Anderson Varejao now ruled out for the season. Speights is a solid NBA big man, but one nobody sees because he is buried behind Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. But Speights has given Memphis 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds a game with an above average PER of 16.2.

Speights has a $4.5 million player option for next season and could veto the trade due to Bird Rights considerations, but that would be a surprise. The lightly used young guard Selby is still on his rookie deal.

Leuer, the forward out of the University of Wisconsin in his second NBA season, has played in just nine games for Cleveland. He may play less for Memphis.

The move brings the Grizzlies under the NBA roster league minimum, so look for a D-League call up or some other inexpensive addition to the roster.

  1. bleed4philly - Jan 22, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Gay and Speights would’ve been a nice package for quite a few teams, if only the Gay contract wasn’t so outta control. I think the celtics or Rockets make that trade in a heart beat.

  2. acdc363 - Jan 22, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Will this move Zeller to the bench? I just snagged him off waivers.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      I would pick up speights instead

  3. tonydelk - Jan 22, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    The Grizzlies just tricked the Cavs into giving them Jon Leuer! The Luxury part is just a coincidence. Move over Z-Bo because Jon is Leuerking behind you!

    • skinsfanwill - Jan 22, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      He would never takes Z-Bo’s place as far as production goes. Don’t fool yourself. There was a reason he isn’t getting burn in Cleveland.

      • phaden27 - Jan 22, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        Just when I thought lack of common sense was in the lead for the “Deterioration of Humanity” award, good old lack of sense of humor comes and snatches it away.

    • observingii - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      Did tonydelk really just say “leuerking”?

      • tonydelk - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        Would you have preferred: The Grizzlies just Leuered Jon away from the Cavs and are now a lock to win the NBA championship?
        I have Jon Leuer puns for days.

      • observingii - Jan 22, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        Thankfully, there is still some humor left in the NBA world. On another site involving Minnesota, one poster called a player a crow magnum man. Someone replied:

        Cro-Magnon was the ID on an early representation of modern man.

        crow magnum = large raven = Bryant McKinnie

  4. wwttww - Jan 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Great news for MS. Should log 30+ a game as a Cav.

  5. 00maltliquor - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    MEM got manhandled in that trade! And for what?? To save 4/8 million? If you can’t afford that to put out a competitive team trying to sneak in a ‘chip then you shouldn’t be an NBA owner or a sports team owner PERIOD. As it was the MEM bench to me was one of the worst/least attractive, and now they did this? Baaah!

    • unxpexted1 - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Just a terrible move for a contender that needs all of its role players. Speights ans Ellington have played especially well for them. I know its about the money but Justin Timberlake and Mrs. Manning have messed this one up. At least wait till the summer, just a bad bad move.

    • pl4tinum514 - Jan 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM

      Wasn’t it like 6 or 7 million in savings? Double it if they’re over the tax by that much… still, seems chintzy.

  6. 00maltliquor - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    So this confirms that we will never see a better Grizzlies team then the one that’s currently out there now. Hmmmm….that’s great news for fans of the NBA to hear. What a great product.

  7. stra15 - Jan 22, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    In five years, when Leuer is playing in Spain, he will swear to his teammates that another NBA team traded 3 players and a draft pick for his talents. His teammates will laugh, and roll their eyes. Leuer will pull up the transaction on his smart phone and once again, Jon Leuer will drink for free.

  8. LPad - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Did Memphis really throw in a 1st rd pick? I ask because this site tends to get its sentences mixed up. But if they did… Wow

  9. livingsacrifice86 - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    At least one day he will be able to say he was traded for three players and a first round pick. Dude must of had a good career

  10. lucifershuttlesworth - Jan 22, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    this move isn’t as bad as it first appears as it will open up playing time for Darrel Arthur and put the Gay-mare to rest (until the off-season). Still, it’s a bitter pill to swallow for Grizz fans and one that will increase skepticism towards the new management. Jon Leuer is as Grindhouse as Pee-Wee Herman.

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