Countdown to The Draft
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By Kenny Roda
Cavs G.M. Chris Grant added another future chip to the table today while also getting some immediate help for the struggling Cavaliers. In a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland acquired C/F Marreese Speights, SG Wayne Ellington and PG Josh Selby plus a future first round pick that is a partial lottery protected pick for C/F John Leuer and a trade exception of around four million dollars. The draft pick the Cavs get is protected for picks 1-5 and 15-30 for 2015 and 2016. It is top five protected in 2017 and 2018 and unprotected in 2019. Also the Cavs had to waive point guard Jeremy Pargo to make the trade work.
The Cavs get much needed help in the “BIG” category with Anderson Varejao now out for the season due to a blood clot in his lung. Marreese Speights is 6’10, 255 pounds and is only 25 years old. A former first round pick out of Florida by the 76ers in 2008 at sixteen overall, Speights comes to the Cavs averaging 6.6ppg and 4.7rpg this season. However, in the nine games in which Speights has played twenty minutes or more this year, he has averaged 12.7ppg and 7.8rpg. He’s also a good free throw shooter at 75% for his career. Speights should rotate at the four-and-five positions with Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson. Speights has a player option for next season at a friendly cap number of $4.5 million. That means he can decide if he would like to return to the Cavs or decline the option and become an unrestricted free agent.
Wayne Ellington is a fourth year shooting guard originally drafted in the first round out of North Carolina back in 2009 with the twenty-eighth overall pick by Minnesota. He like Speights is only twenty-five years old. He has a career average of 6.3ppg, and while his average is down to 5.5ppg this year, he is shooting a career high 42% from three-point range this season and a career high 93% from the free throw line. He could be a nice replacement for Boobie Gibson, whose contract is up after this season and who continues to get hurt or sick every other day of the season it seems! Ellington’s contract for next year is up to the Cavs. If they want to keep him they will have to make him a qualifying offer of about $3.1 million dollars. If not, they can just release him. It will come down to how he plays the rest of this season, so again it gives them cap flexibility.
Josh Selby is a second year point guard out of Kansas averaging 2.0ppg for his career and is a terrible shooter, knocking down shots at only a 33% clip for his career overall and just 14% from three-point country. In my opinion he is nothing more than a third string point guard and practice player to fill out the roster. The Cavs have a team option on him for next season at $884,000 and unless he really impresses somehow, he will probably be cut at some point.
Kenny Roda covers the Cavaliers for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 WKNR and ESPNCleveland.com
Follow Kenny on Twitter @RoadmanWKNR
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