JULY 6: The trade is now official, with both teams announcing it in press releases. “C.J. is respected around the league for his defense, three-point shooting and leadership,” Wizards Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations Tommy Sheppard said. “All of those qualities appealed to us in making this deal and we look forward to him making a positive impact on our team.”
JULY 5: The Wizards are trading center Dwight Howard to the Grizzlies, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Memphis plans to waive Howard or forward him to another team, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.
Washington will receive swingman C.J. Miles in the deal, David Aldridge of The Athletic tweets.
The Grizzlies will shave $3.13MM off their team salary by dealing Miles, who is due $8.73MM next season. Howard has one year and $5.6MM left on his contract.
Additionally, Memphis has waived shooting guard Avery Bradley, Aldridge reports in another tweet. Bradley had a $12.96MM salary for next season but only $2MM was guaranteed. This gives Memphis even more flexibility to make moves, as Aldridge notes.
Bradley is a former client of current Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, which may impact his decision as a free agent, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders notes (Twitter link).
Howard opted in for the second year of his contract with the Wizards, who had no interest in keeping the former All-Star on the roster.
Howard, who spent his previous three seasons with three different teams in Houston, Atlanta, and Charlotte, was a complete washout last season. Having used the full taxpayer mid-level exception to sign him, Washington viewed Howard as its major offseason addition, but he only appeared in nine games. Spinal surgery and a hamstring injury during his rehab resulted in a lost season for the 33-year-old Howard.
Miles’ situation was similar. He opted in to his contract but the Grizzlies had little use for the three-point specialist with a hefty salary on a rebuilding squad.
Miles is recovering from a stress reaction in his left foot. The 14-year veteran, who started last season with the Raptors, was sent to the Grizzlies as part of the package for Marc Gasol in February. In total, Miles appeared in 53 games (16.2 MPG) for Memphis and Toronto, averaging just 6.4 PPG on .360/.330/.828 shooting.
Memphis had until July 8 to fully guarantee Bradley’s salary. He appeared in 63 games last season with the Clippers and Grizzlies, averaging 9,9 PPG and 2.4 APG in 30.2 MPG. Without Bradley on their roster, the Grizzlies are in much better position to match an offer sheet for restricted free agent Delon Wright without going into tax territory.
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