Marreese Speights (208 cm, Florida’08) is the centerpiece in a multi-player trade consummated by the Memphis Grizzlies and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Grizzlies are sending Speights along with Wayne Ellington (193 cm, North Carolina’09) and Josh Selby (188 cm, Kansas’11), plus a future first-round draft pick to the Cavaliers for John Luer (208 cm, Wisconsin’11).
The Cavaliers recently lost Anderson Varejao for the season after it was discovered that he had a blood clot in his lung. They are thin up front with rookie Tyler Zeller and sophomore Tristan Thompson soaking up most of the minutes. The addition of Marreese Speights to the team adds much needed depth in their big man rotation, while Ellington and Selby are expected to join back court rotation.
On the Grizzlies’ end this was a matter of avoiding to pay luxury tax in the short term. The deal allows them to shed $6 million off their books. In the weeks leading up to this deal rumors were circulating that Memphis would trade away either Rudy Gay or Zach Randolph. Trading the trio of players and a pick gives them some leeway to keep their core players intact for at least one more year.
To balance out this deal the Cavs waived Jeremy Pargo to make room on their roster while the Grizzlies receive a trade exception worth $4 million which they can use in a future trade.