The question was not if but when and where the Cavaliers would trade Brendan Haywood — more accurately, his $10.5 non-guaranteed contract — and what would the price be.
The answers turned out to be Sunday, to Portland, and they threw in Mike Miller and a couple second round picks, for cash.
The expected trade of Haywood has been confirmed by everyone west of the Mississipi. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports had it first.
The Cavaliers will have two separate trade exceptions – $10.5 million and $2.85 million – that they’ll have one calendar year to use. The Cavaliers can use a trade exception to acquire a player under contract in a deal. Those salaries count against the salary cap, but don’t impact luxury tax payments.
The deal could spare the Cavaliers nearly $10 million in salary and luxury tax payments.
Let’s break down what everybody gets out of this and why they did it.
• The two trade exceptions, $10.5 million and $2.85 million, which can be used to bring in a player mid-season without sending anyone out.
• The Cavaliers likely never use those trade exceptions, making this a move about saving money — almost $10 million when all is said and done. The Cavaliers are already flirting with the $84.7 million tax line without having yet re-signed Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova, and probably J.R. Smith. Former Nets executive Bobby Marks summed it up well on Twitter.
• Two second-round picks. The first in 2019 is the better of the Timberwolves or Lakers picks (the Cavs have the rights to both). The second is the Cavaliers own pick in 2020.
• Portland will waive Haywood, saving his non-guaranteed money.
• Portland is expected to negotiate a buyout with Miller, allowing the veteran to hook up with an interested contender (he cannot re-sign with the Cavaliers for a year). Whatever he takes less than the $2.85 million he is owed is money the Blazers saves.
• Bottom line, the Blazers just bought two second round picks at $1.4 million apiece.
Who won the trade? It’s not going to move the needle for either team on the court in the short term. So would you prefer to save money or pick up a couple extra future draft picks?