Cavaliers trade with Jazz, gain pieces for Kevin Love deal
LeBron James is one step closer to teaming up with Kevin Love.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Utah's trading John Lucas, Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy to Cleveland for Carrick Felix, future 2nd and $1M, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 22, 2014
Lucas, Thomas and Murphy combine for $3,364,645 in unguaranteed salary. That could be useful in matching salaries with a team that, in addition to dealing Love’s max contract, wants to unload the overpaid Kevin Martin and J.J. Barea.
The Cavaliers can acquire Thomas and Murphy through minimum-salary exceptions, and by dealing Felix – who was on the books for a guaranteed minimum salary – they have enough cap room to absorb Lucas first.
This trade worked only because Cleveland waited to sign No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins. Now the Cavaliers can sign Wiggins to the standard 120 percent of the rookie scale and start the 30-day clock until he can be traded. His full salary – rather than the $0 he’d count for unsigned – will also likely be essential to any Love trade
For the Jazz, they get a draft pick and a little cash for being at the right place at the right time. This was advantage of claiming Erik Murphy off waivers late last season.
Murphy’s contract becomes $100,000 guaranteed Aug. 2 and $200,000 guaranteed Nov. 2, according to ShamSports.com. Wiggins is untradable until after Murphy’s contract becomes partially guaranteed, so the Timberwolves would just eat $100,000 if they dealt for Murphy and waived him. That’s not so bad, but eating an additional $100,000 in November when a deal might be workable 30 days from now seems pointless.
Today’s trade sets up two clocks for a Love-to-Cleveland deal – 30 days after Wiggins signs (which could happen today now that the Cavaliers have used their cap room) and before Nov. 2.