The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded center Brendan Haywood and shooter Mike Miller to the Portland Trail Blazers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!
Haywood’s contract is non-guaranteed for the 15-16 season at $10.5 million. The Blazers will receive the better of Cleveland’s two 2019 second-round picks and the team’s 2020 second-rounder, Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
The Cavaliers, with or without Haywood, are heading into uncharted territory in terms of luxury tax. Windhorst reports that the Cavaliers had hoped to use the contract as a trade chip to get something valuable, but the team has “nearly come to the conclusion” now that a “suitable deal” is not out there. Portland will absorb the salaries into their cap space and they’re expected to waive both players in the near future – Haywood’s hefty .5 million salary is not guaranteed.
Regardless, this is another example of how it can pay off to have copious amounts of cap space when rebuilding in the National Basteball Association. They also have the rights to a handful of overseas players. Christmas was no lock to even make the roster and since the Cavs are trying to win now, they felt getting the second round pick to trade was the most important outcome.
Cleveland have taken the decision to retain the services of Jones for the next campaign, although he will play for the veteran’s minimum.
Haywood, 35, played just 22 regular season games in 2014-15, only starting once.
Cleveland’s next tradeable first round pick is in 2018, but that seems like a pipe dream because Vlade Divac doesn’t run the Cavs (yet). The trade exception could allow them to pick up a solid piece at the deadline, and desperate times call for desperate measures. It’s a no-brainer.