HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler chimed in with roundup of trade rumors in advance of the Rudy Gay deal, and though his info about that swap quickly became outdated, he delivered much more from around the league. Let's hit the highlights here:
- The Celtics were entertaining offers for Paul Pierce before Rajon Rondo went down with a torn ACL, but for the moment they want to evaluate their team in the wake of the injury before making a move. Pierce wants to retire with Boston, and Celtics basketball president Danny Ainge and company will consider his special place in the team's history in deciding whether to move him. The C's will seek deals for their other players first.
- Though rumblings seem to indicate Josh Smith may be on his way out of Atlanta, the Hawks haven't considered any deal for him to this point. Still, Kyler believes that if they decide to deal Smith, they already know where they can send him. According to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, the Raptors probably aren't one of the teams that would make a deal for the power forward (Twitter link).
- More than half the league has tried to trade for J.J. Redick, but the Magic have rebuffed all offers for the soon-to-be free agent. The Magic front office has kept Redick informed about all the possible deals, and it seems more than likely he'll opt to re-sign this summer.
- The Lakers continue to discuss Pau Gasol deals, but as it stands now, they're more likely to hold off until the summer, when they'll know whether Dwight Howard, a free agent, will be back.
- Kyler also shares Lang Greene's pre-trade video interview with Raptors coach Dwane Casey, and catches up with Greivis Vasquez and new Grizzlies big man Jon Leuer, who revealed that it was former teammate Kyrie Irving who broke the news to him about last week's trade.
The Grizzlies kept their core intact, but gave up some depth, when they sent Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington to Cleveland earlier this week to sneak under the luxury-tax line. That lack of depth didn't hurt the team on Wednesday, in a 106-93 win over the Lakers. The new-look Grizzlies will face their second test tonight at home against the Nets, in what figures to be one of the best games on the evening's schedule. Here are the latest updates out of Memphis:
- The Grizzlies are still weighing their options when it comes to adding another free agent, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, who was told not to expect a signing this weekend (Twitter link).
- Delonte West, who landed with the D-League's Texas Legends today, isn't in the mix at the moment for the Grizzlies, though Sasha Vujacic still might be an option, tweets Tillery.
- One rival executive interested in acquiring Rudy Gay tells Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (Sulia link) that the trade with the Cavs lessened the Grizzlies' urgency to move Gay for now, but didn't entirely eliminate the team's desire to do so eventually. I reached a similar conclusion in the aftermath of this week's trade.
- Jon Leuer, the one player who came to Memphis in the deal with the Cavs, tells Marlon W. Morgan of the Memphis Commercial Appeal that he's excited to be part of a contender.
The Grizzlies and Cavaliers have offically finalized a deal that sends Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a protected first-round draft pick to Cleveland in exchange for Jon Leuer, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The Cavaliers have waived Jeremy Pargo to clear room on their roster for the incoming players.
Memphis has been at the center of a number of trade rumors this
month, a result of the team's reported desire to get below the tax line.
While most of those rumors have involved more expensive players like Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph, I noted last week
that Speights was another candidate to be dealt, since moving his $4MM+
salary would be enough to get the Grizzlies out of the tax. That's
essentially what Memphis is doing in this deal with the Cavs, moving Speights along with Ellington's $2.08MM expiring contract. Selby and Leuer are a wash, earning identical $762,195 salaries.
Cleveland has the room to absorb Ellington's and Speights' salaries under the cap, while the Grizzlies will move below the tax line for 2012/13. Memphis should also obtain a handful of trade exceptions in the transaction, worth the amount of Speights', Ellington's, and Selby's salaries -- $4,200,000, $2,083,042, and $762,195 respectively.
Speights, 25, was a productive rotation piece for the Grizzlies last year after the team acquired him from the 76ers, starting 54 contests for the club and averaging 8.8 PPG and 6.2 RPG. However, he has seen a reduced role in Memphis this season, with his minutes being reduced from 22.4 per game to 14.5. Because he was playing on a one-year contract (excluding his second-year player option) following his rookie deal, the forward had the rights to veto a trade, but he agreed to be dealt to the Cavs due to that lack of playing time in Memphis, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal (Twitter link).
For the Cavaliers, Selby and Memphis' pick act as sweeteners to compensate the Cavs for taking on salary, including Speights' $4.52MM player option for 2013/14. Joel Brigham of HoopsWorld wrote yesterday that Selby, who excelled in the Summer League in July, was waiting for an opportunity to try to translate that success to the regular season. He figures to have a better chance to receive that opportunity in Cleveland.
Meanwhile, the first-rounder heading to the Cavs is protected from 1-5 and 15-30 in 2015 and 2016, before being top-five protected in 2017 and 2018 and unprotected in 2019. Like the first-rounder that was traded by the Raptors to the Rockets (and eventually to the Thunder) over the summer, the unique protection makes it a likely lottery pick.
Despite clearing Speights from next year's books, the Grizzlies still project to be likely taxpayers in 2013/14 and '14/15, so as Grantland's Zach Lowe points out (via Twitter), the club could explore more cost-cutting deals in the summer. The trade also brings the Grizzlies' roster to 11 players, two below the NBA minimum, so free agent signings will be required. Memphis is currently considering Delonte West and Bill Walker, among others.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links), Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (Twitter links), Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld (all Twitter links), and Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link) were all involved in breaking various details of the story.
We'll keep track of today's D-League movement in this post, with the latest news on top. You can follow all of this season's D-League assignments and recalls right here.
- The Rockets, in a press release that officially announced the signing of Patrick Beverley, also revealed that he's been assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League. The 6'1" point guard has yet to play in either the NBA or the D-League after going undrafted in 2009. Houston brought Beverley over from Spartak St. Petersburg in Russia, for whom he was named Eurocup MVP last season.
- The Cavaliers have recalled Jon Leuer from the D-League, the team announced today in a press release. Leuer figures to be on the bench for the Cavs' game tonight in Chicago. Leuer was assigned to the Canton Charge last week, and played in two games for the club during his stint. The 23-year-old had double-doubles in both contests, leading the Charge to a pair of victories. Canton is now 7-1 this season with Leuer, and just 3-7 without him.
We'll track all of Thursday's D-League assignments and recalls right here:
- Jon Leuer has been assigned to the Canton Charge by the Cavaliers, the team announced today in a press release. Leuer has appeared in limited minutes for the Cavs, but has averaged a double-double (20.3 PPG, 12.3 RPG) in the D-League this season in six games with Canton.
- The Pacers have again assigned Miles Plumlee and Orlando Johnson to the D-League, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (via Twitter). It's the fourth assignment of the year for Plumlee and the third for Johnson. The two rookies have barely managed to see the floor in Indiana, but have been productive in the handful of D-League games they've played for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Plumlee has posted 14.7 PPG and 11.2 RPG in six contests, while Johnson has averaged 23.0 PPG and 6.7 RPG in three games.
We'll keep track of all the day's D-League moves right here. As always, you can reference the season's comings and goings with this post.
- The Knicks have assigned James White and Chris Copeland to the Erie BayHawks of the D-League for a second time this week, tweets Keith Schlosser of Knicks Journal. The pair of forwards went to Erie on Tuesday and were called back to New York yesterday in time for both to appear in the Knicks' victory over the Nets. Neither played in a game for the BayHawks, and the assignments are simply a measure to get the players more practice time, as Schlosser points out.
- The Cavaliers have recalled Jon Leuer from the D-League, the team announced. Leuer has appeared in six games, all starts, for the Canton Charge since he was assigned to the club two weeks ago. The 6'10" power forward notched 20.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per game and shot 54.5% during his D-League stint.
- Tyler Honeycutt was on the active list for the Kings in their win against the Warriors last night in his first game since returning from the league's longest D-League stint of the season. Honeycutt was sent down November 7th, the first time an NBA player was assigned to a D-League squad in 2012/13. The 6'8" small forward averaged 10.9 points and 9.6 rebounds in seven games with the Reno Big Horns.
We'll track today's D-League assignments and recalls here, with the latest moves up top. To keep tabs on all of this season's D-League assignments and recalls, check out our complete list.
- The Thunder have recalled Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones III, and Daniel Orton from the Tulsa 66ers, the team announced today (Twitter link via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports). Having recalled DeAndre Liggins from the D-League last week, the Thunder now don't have any players still on the 66ers' roster, though I'd imagine that won't last too long.
- The Trail Blazers have assigned Will Barton and Victor Claver to the Idaho Stampede, the team announced today (link via Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com). Of the two rookies, Barton has earned more playing time, averaging 8.8 MPG in 16 contests, while Claver has seen limited minutes in just five games. Both players will be with the Stampede for two games before rejoining Portland, according to GM Neil Olshey (Twitter link via Jason Quick of the Oregonian).
- The Cavaliers have assigned Jon Leuer to their D-League affiliate, the team announced today in a press release. Leuer will join the Canton Charge and be available for the club's game tomorrow. After being claimed off waivers by Cleveland in the offseason, Leuer has appeared in five games for the Cavs, averaging 3.2 PPG and 2.0 RPG in 14.4 minutes per contest. The 23-year-old will be the only member of the Cavs playing in the D-League for now, since the team recalled Kevin Jones earlier this week.
As we heard earlier today, the NCAA is investigating agent Rich Paul and Myck Kabongo regarding a trip the Texas guard took to Cleveland this summer. Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson, who is represented by Paul, was involved in Kabongo's trip, but doesn't think any NCAA rules were violated, as Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal writes (on Sulia).
"I had to pay for it, but then his brother reimbursed me, which is
totally fine with the NCAA," Thompson said. "I think everything will
work out. I don't see no eligibility issues, but that's for the NCAA to
Here are a few more Thursday notes related to the Cavs:
- Jon Leuer doesn't appear to be in jeopardy of not making Cleveland's regular season roster, though he may face an uphill battle for minutes, says Bob Finnan of the News Herald.
- Leuer was traded by the Bucks this summer, waived by the Rockets, and eventually claimed by the Cavs on waivers, and says he was caught off guard by all the movement: "I didn't see that coming at all. Milwaukee needed a center
and Houston had a million things going on. It was a pretty crazy
offseason, kind of a welcome to the free-agency frenzy for a young
- The Cavs have 18 players on their roster and will need to cut three more before the season begins. Finnan expects the team to cut one of Donald Sloan or Jeremy Pargo, and one of Luke Harangody, Luke Walton, and Kevin Jones. It's unclear who the last cut could be -- perhaps Kelenna Azubuike or Micheal Eric. Finnan suggests that Cleveland may also be willing to move Daniel Gibson for a second-round pick.
- As our list of non-guaranteed deals shows, Sloan, who appears to have a leg up on Pargo, is the only Cav under contract without any sort of guarantee. So Cleveland may end up releasing three players who are all owed guaranteed money.
The Cavaliers made a pair of cuts today, letting go of Kevin Anderson and Justin Holiday, both of whom were on non-guaranteed deals. They'll be the first of many players to go from Central Division teams this month, as all five clubs are currently over the 15-man regular season roster limit. Here's more from around the Central.
Here are a few pieces of news from around the league.