Redskins

Grizzlies, Cavs agree to multi-player trade

Grizzlies, Cavs agree to multi-player trade

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies traded Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a future first-round draft pick Tuesday to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Jon Leuer.

The trade is the first big move by the Grizzlies' new ownership and clears about $6 million in salary in getting Memphis under the luxury tax threshold this season. The Grizzlies rank fourth in the West and are 6-4 over their past 10 games after the NBA's best start this season.

The deal gives the lottery-bound Cavs another first-round pick to improve a team entering Tuesday night's home game against Boston with a 10-32 record - second-worst in the Eastern Conference. Speights also will help replace center Anderson Varejao who will miss the remainder of the season after developing a blood clot in his right lung.

Varejao remains hospitalized at The Cleveland Clinic.

The ownership group led by Robert Pera took over the Grizzlies on Nov. 5, and they had been scheduled to pay about $4 million in luxury tax this season with a payroll more than $74 million. This should help Memphis keep its starters Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Tony Allen together the rest of this season for another postseason run.

``It's a trade that had to be made from a business decision, so we have a chance to keep our core together and we move forward,'' Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. ``Hate to lose Mo and Wayne or Josh, but it's part of the business of basketball and you have to do things. You have to make some tough decisions, and tough decisions were made and we live with them and move forward.''

Speights is earning $4.2 million this season, while Ellington's salary is $2 million. The Grizzlies also get a $6.4 million trade exception good for a year to help sign a free agent or use in a trade.

``I've been blessed to play for a team and a city that has embraced me,'' Speights, who had to agree to any trade, wrote on Twitter. ``I will never forget the love and support I received from (hash)grizznation.''

Cleveland coach Byron Scott thinks the trade will benefit Cleveland in several ways.

``The biggest thing out of the whole deal is getting Mo (Speights) in there and getting that first round pick as well,'' Scott said. ``Very valuable assets. It was a good day for us.''

The 6-foot-10 Speights will help ease the loss of Varejao, who was leading the NBA in rebounding. Speights averaged 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds as one of the Grizzlies' top reserves but had been averaging only 14.5 minutes this season coming off the bench in Memphis. His contract expires after next season.

``We needed another big with Andy being lost for the season,'' Scott said. ``Maurice is a guy who has been in the league for a while. He's definitely proven he can play. He's a good mid-range shooter, is a tough kid and rebounds the ball. Wayne Ellington can stretch the floor. He's gotten better each year he's been in the league. Josh is a little bit of a combo (guard).''

The players were expected to arrive in Cleveland on Tuesday night. They must first pass physicals and Scott hopes they will be able to practice Thursday and possibly play Friday against Milwaukee.

Cleveland is trying to maintain salary-cap space and stay away from any maximum contracts so it can be active in free agency over the next two years. General manager Chris Grant has been doing all he can to attain assets to help the rebuilding, which is taking longer than expected.

``Marreese will strengthen our front court, while Wayne and Josh will add depth to our back court,'' Grant said in a statement. ``At the same time, we are adding a valuable asset with another future first round pick, while also maintaining our future flexibility.''

The Cavaliers also waived Jeremy Pargo to create room for the trade.

The Grizzlies already owe a first-round draft pick to Minnesota, so the Cavaliers will get Memphis' first-round selection after that. The selection is protected so Cleveland could only pick between Nos. 6 and 14 in 2015 with the pick protected only for the top five in 2017 and 2018.

Ellington, picked up in a trade from Minnesota last July, helped Memphis beat Miami on Nov. 11 with a career-high seven 3-pointers and 25 points. But he has hit only 34 3s in his other 39 games this season. Selby has played in only 10 games this season.

Memphis gets 6-10 Leuer who is averaging 2.4 points in nine games. He was the 40th draft selection overall in 2011 by Milwaukee and was claimed off waivers by Cleveland in July. Leuer averaged 19.5 points and 12.3 rebounds playing with the Cavaliers' D-League team, the Canton Charge.

But the Grizzlies will need to add at least a couple players to the roster quickly. They host the Lakers on Wednesday night.

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Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

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USA Today Sports

Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

Yahoo! Sports ranked all 32 head coaches in the NFL and Washington Redskins fans may not be too happy with where Jay Gruden ended up.

Entering his fifth year as head coach, Gruden was ranked as the No. 27 head coach in the NFL. Here's Yahoo!'s rationale behind his ranking:

"Four years, one playoff berth, one plus-.500 season, one franchise quarterback run out of town."

All that is ... not false, but the whole franchise quarterback being run out of town thing is at least debatable. And even if the ranking is fair, it's still okay to be upset because it's the middle of July, training camp hasn't started yet and the offseason is the perfect time to get irrationally angry about things like these.

Elsewhere in the NFC, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur checks in at No. 23, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is No. 17 and the Eagles' Doug Pederson is No. 2.

Unsurprisingly, Bill Belichick was ranked No. 1; he may be the greatest of all time when all is said and done, if not already. The top five rounds out with Pederson at No. 2, New Orleans's Sean Payton at No. 3, Minnesota's Mike Zimmer at No. 4 and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin at No. 5.

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Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

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USA Today Sports

Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

TORONTO (AP) -- Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman gave up hits to the first three Baltimore batters Saturday.

The Orioles got just two more hits the rest of the afternoon.

Stroman pitched seven sharp innings for his second win in three starts and Toronto beat Baltimore 4-1 for its sixth straight victory over the struggling Orioles.

"He started working both sides of the plate with his sinker and I think that threw them off a little bit, especially late in counts," Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile said. "Overall it was just kind of vintage Stroman."

Baltimore right-hander Alex Cobb picked up his major league-worst 13th loss. The Orioles dropped to 1-8 against Toronto this season.

"I absolutely hate seeing that win-loss in parentheses next to my name," Cobb said. "It's sickening."

Stroman (3-7) allowed one run and five hits. He threw a season-high 107 pitches, the first time this season he has topped 100.

Stroman is 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts since returning from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss more than a month. He went 0-5 in seven starts before the injury.

"Since he's come back from the DL he's been really good," manager John Gibbons said. "I just think he's pitching like he's always pitched."

Stroman said he's focused on forgetting his early season struggles.

"I know I didn't have the first half I wanted but I've always been someone who prides myself on the second half and finishing strong," Stroman said. "That's something I'll look to continue to do this year."

Friend and teammate Devon Travis likes what he's seen from Stroman since the right-hander returned from injury.

"He's got that fire back," Travis said. "He's really under control. I think he's locking in on every single pitch."

Seunghwan Oh worked the eighth and Ryan Tepera finished for his seventh save in 12 opportunities.

Baltimore scored one run or fewer for the 27th time, the most in the majors.

The first three Orioles batters all singled, although Jonathan Schoop was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double. After Adam Jones gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead with an RBI hit to right, Mark Trumbo grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The Blue Jays answered with a three-run fourth against Cobb, taking advantage of a key Orioles error.

Justin Smoak opened the inning with a walk and, following a video review, was ruled safe at second after Cobb's high throw pulled shortstop Tim Beckham off the base on at attempted force play.

"That's not it in a nutshell but I can understand why that's the focus, a play we haven't been making," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Randal Grichuk followed with an RBI double, a second run scored on Diaz's double play grounder, and Maile capped the rally with an RBI single.

Diaz had four hits Friday, including the game-winning single in the 10th. He went 2 for 3 Saturday with a pair of singles.

The Blue Jays made it 4-1 in the fifth when Teoscar Hernandez doubled, advanced on a fly ball and scored on Cobb's balk.

Cobb (2-13) lost his sixth straight decision, allowing four runs, one earned, and four hits in five innings. Showalter said Cobb was removed to avoid worsening a blister on his pitching hand.

"I was only going to have a few more pitches going into the sixth so he felt like the risk-reward was not really worth it," Cobb said.

Grichuk made the defensive play of the game, a running catch on the warning track in left center to retire Trumbo for the first out of the ninth.

GOING DOWN?

Jones and Chris Davis got stuck in an elevator at the team's downtown hotel following Friday night's defeat. Jones documented much of the saga on Instagram. The players and fellow passengers were eventually rescued by Toronto Fire Services staff. The sound system at Rogers Centre played a few bars of Aerosmith's `Love in an Elevator' before Jones batted in the fourth inning Saturday.

NO HOMERS

Toronto won without hitting a home run for just the third time in 26 games this season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Baltimore is expected to demote a reliever when RHP Andrew Cashner (neck) is activated off the 10-day disabled list Sunday.

UP NEXT

Cashner (2-9, 4.56) last pitched July 10, when he allowed five runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings against the Yankees. Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (10-6, 4.29) is 0-3 with a 9.75 ERA in three July starts.