The 2013 NBA All-Star Game is less than a month away, so teams are looking into trades. The Memphis Grizzlies are the latest to complete a multiplayer trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, dropping more than $6 million off their payroll to get under the luxury tax threshold.
According to ESPN.com, Memphis has sent big man Marreese Speights, guard Wayne Ellington, guard Josh Selby and a future first-round draft pick to the Cavs for forward Jon Leuer.
Apparently, the biggest trade element is the draft pick for the Cavs. 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. It is the sixth first-round pick the Cavs have traded for since 2010.
The Grizzlies were actively seeking to reduce payroll so they wouldn’t have to pay luxury tax. Rumors said they were in talks around the league to move stars Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph. Obviously, it’s yet to happen… if it does at all.
For now, this trade will allow them to keep their starters and ease financial worries for the short term. However, Memphis will owe Gay, Randolph and Marc Gasol nearly $50 million combined next season.