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Cavaliers trade Joe Harris to Magic in cash reorganization

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 14: Joe Harris #12 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on in the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on November 14, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

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The Cavaliers wanted to trade Joe Harris for a second-round pick.

But when the little-used second-year guard underwent potentially season-ending surgery, that pipedream went out the window.

So, Cleveland will settle for just financial relief.

Cavaliers release:

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired the Portland Trail Blazers’ protected 2020 second round pick from the Orlando Magic in exchange for guard Joe Harris, the Sacramento Kings’ 2017 protected second round pick, owned by the Cavaliers, and cash, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced on Tuesday, January 12.

Magic release:

the Magic have requested waivers on Joe Harris.

Here’s the important number: $3,818,944. That’s how much the Cavaliers stand to save. They reduce their impending lux-tax bill by $3,356,647, and they’re off the hook for the remaining $462,297 guaranteed on Harris’ contract.

But they already cut into that money by sending Orlando cash – about $1 million, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. The Magic will use some of that to pay Harris’ remaining salary, and the rest is profit.

Cleveland could also dip into its savings by signing a free agent – a Ray Allen type or someone bought out after the trade deadline – to fill its roster vacancy. Of course, that player would also increase the Cavs’ luxury-tax bill.

Both draft picks are top-55 protected, making them unlikely ever to be conveyed. They’re essentially technicalities in the deal, because Orlando must give up something.

This is as close to a straight salary dump as you’ll see – the Cavaliers saving big because of their high tax bill and the Magic being in the right place at the right time to get a little free money.