The Cleveland Cavaliers were able to achieve another trade on the eve of their media day. The Cavs had procured a number of expiring contracts with the notion that they could be needed to make the Kevin Love trade work. When the Philadelphia 76ers made that transaction a three way trade, the Cavs no longer needed to include these players in the trade. Today they found a way to put them to use elsewhere. The Cavs will send non-guaranteed contract players Erik Murphy, Malcolm Thomas, John Lucas III, 45th overall draft pick Dwight Powell, and their 2nd round draft picks in 2016 and 2017 to the Boston Celtics in return for wing Keith Bogans.
This is just another excellent move by the Cavaliers front office, one in a series of transactions that have catapulted them to the top of the Eastern Conference. Bogans is 34 years old and entering his 12th year in the NBA. The journeyman is known for being an aggressive defender and a quality outside shooter. He is a 6’ 5” wing that shoots the 3 at 35% for his career. Bogans has a reputation for being a great locker room guy, which you can never have enough of. However, anything that Bogans can provide on the floor for the Cavs will be a bonus. His contract is what makes his acquisition a great value for the Cavs.
Bogans has a non-guaranteed contract of $5.3 million this season and $5.5 million next year. These kind of trade-enticing contracts are valuable in the NBA but it’s the combination of his contract and Brendan Haywood’s $10.5 million non-guaranteed contract that makes this all so significant. If the Cavs simply retain both players until the 2015-2016 season they will have over $16 million in cap relief that will be sought after by many NBA teams. The Cavs will likely be able to parlay this trade bait into another blockbuster deal next summer.
This deal puts the Cavs in an advantageous situation next season and they get a veteran player that can contribute this year. The players traded away, with the exception of Dwight Powell, would most likely not have made the Cavs roster this season. In fact, the Celtics will likely release Murphy, Thomas, and Lucas III in order to create more cap room right now as they are in the process of signing free agent Evan Turner. Along with the trade, the Cavs also waived undrafted guard Chris Crawford. Today’s transactions have reduced the number of players set to attend camp from 20 to 16.
By: Brad Ward
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