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Grizzlies-Cavaliers Multiplayer Deal; Is it Big Impact?

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After weeks of trade rumors circulating, the Memphis Grizzlies didn’t pull off the blockbuster trade that was said to involve Rudy Gay or Zach Randolph.  Instead, the franchise opted to save money by a different means.

On Tuesday morning, the Grizzlies sent Marreese Speights, guard Josh Selby and Wayne Ellington and a 2015 draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for forward Jon Leur, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld.

While the move marks a substantial pay cut off the Grizzlies salary cap ($6 million to be exact), the Cavs could very well land a potential lottery pick in the next two years.

“[The pick] has protections that would send Cleveland the next draft pick the Grizzlies have between Nos. 6 and 14 from this season through 2016, making it a likely lottery selection,” according to Windhorst. “It is the sixth first-round pick the Cavs have traded for since 2010.”

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers will also get a mediocre big man in Speights, who was drafted No. 16 overall in the 2008 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. The 6-foot-10 forward has struggled since his move to the NBA and, as such, hasn’t lived up to his lofty expectations. In 20 games this season, he averages 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 14.5 minutes of playing time. Though, those minutes will expand after the Cavs lossed center Anderson Varejao for the remainder of the season with a blood clot. Speights will be making $9 million over the next two seasons with the Cavs.

Ellington is not a big name player but can still act as a backup guard. He’s averaging 6.3 points on 41.1 percent from the field over the course of his three year stint in the league. He is set to be a restricted free agent this offseason and will likely hit the open market come then.

Selby is a mere throw-in at this point. He doesn’t play big minutes and only posts 2.2 points per game through his two year career.

So, while the multiplayer trade seems like a big swing for the NBA, it should have relatively little impact on the landscape of the league. The Grizzlies gain some financial flexibility as they sustain their core group of leaders while the Cavaliers acquire a big body in the paint to replace the injured Varejao.

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