Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Memphis Deals Speights, Selby, Ellington to Cleveland

Marreese Speights was the centerpiece of a money-saving move for the Memphis Grizzlies
Ronald Tillery: Source confirms Speights, Ellington, Selby and protected first in 2015 to Cavs. Griz receive Jon Leuer and $6.4 million trade exception Twitter @CAGrizBlog
Brian Windhorst: Cavs-Grizzlies trade is official. Cavs also receive future 1st round pick with protections that make it a likely lottery pick. Twitter @WindhorstESPN
Brian Windhorst: Much like Rockets-Raptors trade for Kyle Lowry last summer, pick Grizzlies sent Cavs is protected from 1-5 & 15-30. Twitter @WindhorstESPN 

Cleveland's Grade: A+

This deal is definitely a steal for the Cavaliers. They give up essentially nothing to acquire a very serviceable center/power forward in Marreese Speights, who could be huge for them this season with Anderson Varejao being out for the year with a blood clot. Additionally they acquire Josh Selby, an extremely athletic combo guard who could develop into an explosive scorer and playmaker for the team off the bench behind Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Ellington has a reputation as a superb shooter, and currently hits a 42.3% clip from beyond the arc. Cleveland also received a pick with similar protection to the pick that the Toronto Raptors traded to the Houston Rockets (now belonging to OKC) for Kyle Lowry. It's a guaranteed lottery pick, and the team will receive it the first year (starting in 2015) that it falls in the 6-14 range.

Memphis' Grade: C

Obviously the Grizzlies had to make this move to get under the luxury tax threshold. Being a small market team they can't afford to pay the luxury tax this season, especially when they don't appear to have much of a shot at winning the NBA title. That being said, they just did some serious damage to their bench depth. They no longer have a three point shooter to play behind Tony Allen at the 2-guard position in Ellington, and they also lack frontcourt depth with the departure of Marreese Speights. Josh Selby was a promising prospect in his own right, but his loss isn't as big of an issue with Conley, Jerryd Bayless and Tony Wroten already on the roster. Clearly this move was all about money for Memphis, but unfortunately it does not solve their luxury tax problem long-term. Next season they are still on track to be over the luxury tax, so a secondary move involving Rudy Gay or Zach Randolph in the offseason is almost inevitable.