The Memphis Grizzlies have been rumored recently to be shopping forward Rudy Gay on the NBA trade market recently, but while they have struck a multiplayer deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Gay is not involved in it.
However, the reason the Grizzlies have been shopping Gay is: salary dumping.
Memphis has acquired big man Jon Leuer from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Wayne Ellington, Mareese Speights and Josh Shelby. There is also a future draft pick reportedly involved in the deal as well.
The draft pick is heading Cleveland’s way and is reportedly a top-five protected 2015 first round pick.
The draft pick going to Cleveland is a first round pick and its got protections.
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) January 22, 2013
Reducing their payroll has been a major goal for the Grizzlies, and moving Gay was thought to be one of the easiest ways to clear up cap space and get back under the luxury tax. Salary issues are not the concern of the Cavaliers, as they had a surplus of around $10 million in their books which made this trade possible. Because of this, the Grizzlies will likely receive a trade exception of more than $6 million which will be good for a full year.
The $6 million trade exception is a result of the combined salaries of Speights and Ellington.
There are still rumors surrounding Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph, but the Grizzlies have cleared enough space in the books the keep them both. Moving Speights means his $4 million-plus salary is off the books and the Grizzlies are back under the tax.
The trade is expected to be league approved by Tuesday afternoon.