NBA Cleveland CavaliersMemphis Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies Trade Three Players To the Cleveland Cavaliers for John Leuer

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

NBA trade season is about to heat up, and the Memphis Grizzlies today were the first to make a splash, albeit a small one. The Grizzlies traded reserves Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby along with a future draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for big man Jon Leuer and the Cavaliers $6.4 million trade exception.

Speights is the most significant piece in the trade, as he was averaging 6.6 points and  4.7 rebounds per game with the Grizzlies but was unhappy with his lack of playing time. Speights should see more minutes for the Cavaliers since the Cavs are thin upfront after losing Anderson Varejao for the season. Ellington is a three-point specialist that produced in spurts for the Grizzlies at times, while Selby is a little-used combo guard but has flashed big time scoring abilities in the NBA summer league.

Jon Leuer played his college ball for Wisconsin and was selected 40th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2011 before being traded to the Cavs summer of 2012. Going into the 2011 draft Leuer was a favorite of John Hollinger’s, the former blogger-turned Grizzlies new Vice President of Basketball Operations.

Memphis is supposedly signing two free agents to balance out their roster, with one rumored to be Delonte West. While West has a reputation for being a head case, he can be a valuable guard off the bench and a lock down defender. The Grizzlies are also rumored to be looking to trade one of their higher-salaried players, specifically Rudy Gay. Given the saving the Grizzlies now have with this trade, they may be able to hang on to Gay for the remainder of the season.

Does this move make the Grizzlies any better or worse? No. This trade is a clear salary dump and will save the Grizzlies about $6 million in salary, putting them below the luxury tax line. But don’t be surprised if the Grizzlies aren’t done making moves just yet.