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Report: Cavaliers agree to trade with Nets, Celtics, clearing cap space for LeBron James

Jul 9, 2014, 10:48 AM EST

LeBron James LeBron James

LeBron James is reportedly down to just two teams where his free agent decision is concerned, and one of them has reportedly agreed to a trade that would clear enough cap space to have the maximum salary available to sign him.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

ESPN sources say Brooklyn Nets on verge of acquiring Jarrett Jack from Cleveland in three-team deal

Boston is third team in deal will acquire Tyler Zeller from Cleveland as well as future first-rounder and Marcus Thornton from Nets

Three-team trade will see Nets acquire Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev from Cleveland. Boston gets Thornton, Zeller and a first

Trade can’t be completed until Thursday, but Cavs on brink of shedding contracts of Jarrett Jack, Tyler Zeller & Sergey Karasev in this deal

Those contracts the Cavaliers are sending out of town total more than $9.5 million for next season, with only Jack’s deal having guaranteed money beyond that in the form of $6.3 million for the year after that. It’s believed that Cleveland made this move purely to have the cap space necessary to sign James, should he indeed decide to leave Miami and return to the Cavaliers.

The Celtics get Thornton from the Nets, who can occasionally score in bunches and is on an expiring contract worth $8.5 million for next season. But their real prizes for facilitating the deal are Zeller, a productive center on a very inexpensive rookie contract, and a future first round pick from the Cavaliers.

Brooklyn, meanwhile, gets a serviceable veteran point guard in Jack who can help ease the pain of losing Shaun Livingston in free agency. Jack averaged 9.5 points and 4.1 assists in 28.2 minutes per contest in Cleveland last season.

But this trade was about Cleveland and its pursuit of LeBron James more than anything else. James is scheduled to meet with Heat president Pat Riley on Wednesday, and this move by the Cavaliers will undoubtedly add an additional layer of intrigue to what was already expected to be an extremely critical conversation.

117 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. southbeachtalent - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Epic devastation awaits the Cavs and their fans. Always setting themselves up for failure…

    • loungefly74 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      yeah, i see that as well. brace for impact.

    • 1friendofthepeople - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      Who do Cavs fans hate more?

      Wade

      or

      Riley/Arisen

      I think it’s Wade

  2. campcouch - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    People are losing their minds. Until someone is sitting at a press conference with a contract signed, I’ll look at things as if nothing has changed. Makes eating my Corn Flakes easier.

    • 1friendofthepeople - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      ^ I wish Cav fans would keep that mindset. Nothing from Lebron himself indicates he’s leaving Miami.

  3. phreakin - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    The meeting today with Riley is for Lebron to let him know he’s going back to Cleveland. Remember he let the Cavs know he was leaving when he was far away from them. Now he’s in Vegas to do the same. Besides, as others have said the Cavs aren’t making these moves to get Love, they could have got him without the trades and cap space being freed up, This is freeing up space to pay someone a 21 million dollar deal. Lebron is going back.

    • phreakin - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      And i’m not even a Cavs/Heat hater/fan

  4. bobbybouche305 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Wow!!Its a rap my sources just informed me Pat Riley and Mickey Arison too Cleveland also…..Im devastated

  5. edavidberg - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    I don’t think Cleveland makes this deal unless LeBron had strongly indicated he was going to Cleveland.

    And honestly, Cleveland has a better roster than Miami does. I’m not saying Cleveland is going to win it all but Miami with the big three back has too many holes to beat the West next year in the Finals. LBJ knows that after losing this year and only winning in 2013 because of a miracle.

    • edavidberg - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      it’s too bad Cleveland took Bennett instead of Oladipo or Noel. Hurts to waste a pick like that.

      • campcouch - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        I dunno,the move probably put them in the lottery lol

  6. 1historian - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    If this is true – IF – this a BIG deal. MY Celts get another center and another draft pick. “Boston gets Thornton, Zeller and a 1st.”

    What did they give up?

    • j0esixpack - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Looking closer at the deal it looks like Ainge also utilized Paul Pierce’s $10 million trade exception in the trade – which was “use it or lose it” as it would expire on 7/12

      So it may actually be a wash on salary, and Ainge picked up two guys to use or trade, along with yet ANOTHER 1st round pick.

      Even if Ainge lands Love (which is probably slightly more likely now as he has actual players to include along with another 1st rounder that he basically got for nothing) the rebuilding will not be complete this season

      So while the Celtics are generally the overlooked team in this deal, you’ve really got to appreciate these savvy moves by Ainge, grabbing two players and a 1st round pick for just about nothing.

  7. purple4life2 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    I couldn’t care less about Cleveland as a city, or a sports city in general. Specifically after how they through such an epic temper tantrum when LBJ left. And Gilbert got what he deserved. That said, they all paid the price, IMO.

    However, I have zero doubt that they would appreciate a winner and a title more than the fair weather fans of Miami. Obviously none of us know what the “decision 2.0″ will reveal. But I hope for LBJ restoration as a hero, for the true fans suffering in CLE and most of all, to put Miami back in it’s place as nothing more than a vacation spot, I hope Lebron goes home to Ohio.

    Karma is real and Riley is very near getting a sweet dose of it if LBJ and Bosh both bolt leaving Grandpa Wade to play 20 minutes per game before he realized he’s a shell of himself and jumps ship to a contender where he can continue to ride coattails.

  8. seasickcecil - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    The Cavs are just doing what LJs agent told them to do. Create cap space. For what it’s worth Chris Broussard just put the odds at 85% that LJ returns to Cleveland.

  9. bronx77 - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Lebron should go back to Cleveland. It’s the right thing for his family, his legacy, and he still has a chance to go out and win rings. Lebron + any team > better then 26 other teams. Now if wiggins pans out they are the best team in the league in a few years.

    With that being said I can’t see him leaving Miami. A place where he’s been to the finals every year. I think he stays there but I hope he leaves to break that team up.

    I want to see
    bosh in Houston
    Lebron in Cleveland
    Wade stays
    Melo stays
    Love traded to the celtics

    • southbeachtalent - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      hahahaha everyone wants to this team broken up. Don’t know why, we are old and a bunch of has beens that got routed in the Finals..

  10. John X - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    So the Nets got Jarret Jack, a highly sought after free agent PG last year. And Sergey Karasev, the guy they wanted to draft last year. For Reggie Evans and Jason Terry. When most thought they couldn’t change anything on their roster last offseason at all, the Nets improved their roster. Hope LBJ does what HE wants but really hope he doesn’t go back to Gilbert. That letter was so childish and unnecessary.

  11. droopy925 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    This annoys me about LeBron he has to drag it out make a big deal out of it so now whatever team doesn’t get him will a ton of cap space but no one left worth spending it on and you know he all ready decided a long time ago

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