Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert hasn’t decided what to do with the large trade exception the team received when it shipped Brendan Haywood to Portland, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Cleveland picked up a $10,522,500 trade exception in the deal and another worth $2,854,940 in a separate transaction that sent Mike Miller to the Blazers. Both exceptions will expire on July 27th of next year. (See Hoops Rumors’ list of outstanding trade exceptions.) The Cavaliers are already committed to an estimated $175.6MM in payroll this season, with luxury taxes counting for a projected $65MM of that total. Using the larger trade exception would push spending above the $200MM mark. “We look at this year by year. There’s so many factors, so many things can change,” Gilbert said. “We always like to have options. It’s not so much the amount of payroll. The question is if you can maneuver. If the team goes a certain way, are all the contracts valuable? Can your general manager still play chess?”
There’s more this morning from Cleveland:
- Gilbert told Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group that the spending has brought the Cavs the talent they need to win a title, and they just have to stay free from major injuries to make another run at the NBA Finals. “We’re committed, we’re all in,” Gilbert said. “I think when our ownership group invests in something, like a sports franchise, and you’re in for so much, if you sort of start pulling back I think that would be foolish on a lot of fronts. We’re investing for the future as well as the current. I think these guys who are under these large contracts, that’s the core for now and four or five years, which is an eternity in this league.”
- The Cavs are happy with the early performance of Tristan Thompson, who spent most of the offseason in a contract standoff, writes Marla Ridenour of The Akron Beacon Journal. Thompson, whose agreement on a new five-year, $82MM contract didn’t come until October 22nd, has stepped right into his normal role. “He’s one guy that never gets out of shape,” said LeBron James. “We know how durable he is.”
- Quinn Cook, D.J. Stephens and Nick Minnerath, all of whom were cut in training camp, will play for the Cavaliers’ D-League team in Canton, tweets Josh Weir of The Canton Repository.