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The Cleveland Cavaliers could acquire Marreese Speights in a move that would help them up front with Anderson Varejao out for the season and that would help the Memphis Grizzlies' salary situation.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to acquire Marreese Speights from the Memphis Grizzlies in a trade with both on-court and salary cap implications, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
The trade reportedly includes Speights and 2011 second round pick Josh Selby for Jon Leuer. Selby and Leuer aren't much - they've combined for 42 points this year in mainly clean-up minutes - but Speights is a decent big man option.
UPDATE, 9:15 a.m. ET: Windhorst now reports Wayne Ellington will also be included in the deal, boosting the tax savings for Memphis.
That said, it seems the Grizzlies would be involved due to money, as Chris Vernon writes their reasoning is "100 percent financial": they're over the luxury tax and the fifth-year big man is set to make over $4 million each of the next two seasons. Windhorst said there would be picks involved in the upcoming trade, but didn't specify which side they would be on.
With Anderson Varejao out for the rest of the season with a blood clot, the Cavs are really pressed for depth up front: they're essentially forced to start two young bigs in Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller, and after that, there isn't a whole lot: Leuer could be the next guy up by default, and although he played decently for the Milwaukee Bucks last season, the Cavs haven't felt the need to give him playing time, even since Varejao has been out with an unrelated knee injury. Instead, Luke Walton has been playing, and he's more of a small forward.
Speights has proven himself as an athletic big with rebounding ability, and is averaging 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in just under 15 minutes a game - not bad numbers per 36. But he's been disappointed with his playing time: Speights would need to approve this trade, as he has Bird rights, and reportedly already has. This trade could be a win-win for all parties involved: Speights wants court time, the Grizzlies want salary cap relief, and the Cavs need someone up front with Varejao out.