Memphis has been looking for a way to get under the luxury tax line for this season — they may have just found it without shipping Rudy Gay out the door.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN broke news of a trade that could benefit both teams on twitter, then Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports confirmed it as a done deal.
The trade sends Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a protected 2015 first-round pick to Cleveland for Jon Leuer.
For Memphis, this is all about the money. It is a cash dump. They are about $4 million over the NBA’s luxury tax line and this deal saves the a little more than $4 million, moving them under the line as payers.
One of the reasons Rudy Gay was being shopped around was to save money, this saves the cash while keeping the team’s core players intact for a playoff run. No Rudy Gay trade, no Zach Randolph trade. For now. Look for Gay to be shopped around more this summer.
For Cleveland, this is about getting some help on the front line with Anderson Varejao now ruled out for the season. Speights is a solid NBA big man, but one nobody sees because he is buried behind Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. But Speights has given Memphis 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds a game with an above average PER of 16.2.
Speights has a $4.5 million player option for next season and could veto the trade due to Bird Rights considerations, but that would be a surprise. The lightly used young guard Selby is still on his rookie deal.
Leuer, the forward out of the University of Wisconsin in his second NBA season, has played in just nine games for Cleveland. He may play less for Memphis.
The move brings the Grizzlies under the NBA roster league minimum, so look for a D-League call up or some other inexpensive addition to the roster.
Joakim Noah kept his hands on DeMarcus Cousins after getting called for a foul, and that – and/or the Kings heading toward their third straight loss – agitated Cousins into pushing the Knicks center.
Remember, Cousins and Noah have a history.
Aaron Gordon has backslid this season while playing out of his comfort zone at small forward, but there are still signs he’s progressing from great dunker toward great player – like this crafty inbounds pass off Marcus Morris‘ back.
The NBA refuses to grant continuation when a player senses an intentional foul in the backcourt and launches a heave.
Fortunately, players continue to shoot anyway – which produced this fun Brandon Jennings non-basket.
Matt Barnes infamously fought then-Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating Barnes’ estranged wife, Gloria Govan. Barnes even bragged that violence is sometimes the answer.
His self-earned reputation won’t earn him the benefit of the doubt over an incident earlier today.
Sacramento Kings star Matt Barnes is wanted by NYPD for questioning after he allegedly choked a woman inside a nightclub early Monday morning — and TMZ Sports got video of him right after the incident.
Law enforcement sources tell us cops got a 911 call to Avenue Nightclub after midnight, reporting a man assaulting 2 women and another man. We’re told things got physical when Barnes allegedly choked one woman during an argument — and when 2 other people tried to intervene … he punched both of them.
In the video, Matt and a teammate — it appears to be DeMarcus Cousins — are talking about the fight. The teammate is clearly heard saying, “Matt hit the s*** out this ni***!”
Barnes was also arrested for domestic violence against Govan in 2011. But she said the incident was blown out of proportion, and the charges were dropped.
The Kings have already played at the Knicks and Nets, so Sacramento doesn’t return to New York this season.