The Memphis Grizzlies have orchestrated and completed a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers that will send several of their players over there, and help shave more than $6 million off their payroll to get them under the luxury tax mark.
Grizzlies sent their center Marreese Speights, guard Wayne Ellington, guard Josh Selby and a future first-round draft pick to the Cavs in exchange for forward Jon Leuer. The first round draft pick is the best part of the deal for the Cavaliers. In 2015 or 2016, if the Grizzlies’ first-rounder falls between picks 6-14, the pick goes to the Cavs. Starting in 2017, if the Grizzlies’ pick falls outside the top five, the Cavs then get the selection. In 2019, the pick becomes unprotected.
The grizzlies have been racing against the clock to lower their payroll, and have had several talks about trading their star players Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph with other teams. This new deal came just in the nick of time and will allow the Grizzlies to keep their superstar players in Memphis. Memphis owes Gay, Randolph and Marc Gasol nearly $50 million combined next season.
The Memphis Grizzlies are currently 26-14, hold the fourth place spot in the Western Conference and second place in the Southwest Division, trailing only five games behind the San Antonio Spurs.