Originally written on Stepien Rules  |  Last updated 1/22/13
According to multiple reports, including Yahoo!'s Marc Spears, the Cleveland Cavaliers have traded Jon Leuer for what at first appeared to be half of the NBA. Those players have since been identified as Memphis Grizzlies' Marreese Speights, Josh Selby and Wayne Ellington. There is also a draft pick included in this package that will be sent to Cleveland as well, but what exactly that pick is hasn't been identified at the time I'm writing this.  Hoopsworld is reporting that pick could be a 2015 first rounder with a top-5 protection. Maybe it's a second. I'll update this post later once we find out.  In any event, this is a move made by the Memphis Grizzlies that was facilitated by the NBA's new luxury tax structure. After exploring possible trades for Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph, the Grizzlies appear to have settled on avoiding the tax by moving the dollars owed to Speights, Selby and Ellington. That number is approximately $7 million-ish in total on an annual basis, that does not extend past next season. This move, in its eventual totality, is a good one for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  It is one of those "trade nothing for something" type deals. It's not a major deal, but it could provide much needed help on the Cavaliers' bench moving forward. That's besides being crazy to think, of course, that Jon Leuer alone netted these returns.  The fact that the Cavaliers went out and signed essentially zero free agents this summer, and have struggled mightily with their bench as a result, put them in the cap-friendly position to make this trade. Another reason to rationalize losing so much this season, I guess. Speights and Selby, specifically, will add depth to the Cavaliers bench both this season and next. I've actually watched both dominate various NBA off-season events in recent years, and have been high on their respective upsides because of that.  At the Impact League in Las Vegas, during the lockout last year, Speights looked scary good. He followed that up with solid production off the bench for Memphis since being traded from Philly. In Cleveland, he will only get more playing time. Selby, meanwhile, is the reigning MVP of Vegas Summer League. That doesn't mean too much other than he does have the ability to put points on the board to some degree at the NBA level. If you were sitting there watching Selby, you'd probably be more impressed than simply hearing that he was MVP of a league filled with rookies and free agents, but he really looked impressive. There is talent there that looks like it could still translate to real NBA games in the right role.  What Selby can also do is back up both guard positions. He isn't tall, and wants to play more like a shooting guard, but he is a capable back-up in both spots. That will probably be his role for the rest of this season, I'd expect. Wayne Ellington is averaging 5.5 points in 40 appearances this season. I'm not sure where he fits other than probably being better than a couple of the Cavaliers' current wing-players regardless of those numbers. Somebody will need to be cut in this deal too, though, and maybe it's Ellington. We'll have to see what shakes out. For now, this is a trade for Jon Leuer that only helps the Cavaliers get better. If it sends back a high first round pick, it could go down as an historic move. In the very least, though, it's not bad.
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