Jan 12, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Memphis Grizzlies power forward Marreese Speights (5) reacts after being knocked to the floor by the Dallas Mavericks during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 104-83. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Grizzlies, Cavs close to completing deal

With the NBA trade deadline under a month away, the rumors are going to start coming fast and furious.

The latest one has the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers on the verge of completing the first trade of the season.

Jan 19, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Wayne Ellington (3) with the ball during the second quarter against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The deal breaks down like this:  Memphis will send Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a protected first-round draft pick in 2015 to Cleveland in exchange for Jon Leuer, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Cleveland has the cap room to assume Ellington’s expiring $2 million contract, as well as Speights $4.2 million expiring contract. Selby and the pick are likely just sweeteners for the Cavs taking on the additional money for this season.

As for Memphis, this looks like mostly a money deal as the Grizzlies will move further below the tax line, which is big as the deal saves them about $6 million. Although now the Grizzlies will be below the roster minimum so they will have to add a player or two.

In addition to Leuer, the Grizzlies will get a couple of trade exceptions worth the amount of Speights’ and Ellington’s salaries- $4,200,000 and $2,083,042 respectively.

The Grizzlies have been rumored in a ton of deals during the past month that mostly centered around Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph, but it looks like Memphis will keep their two stars for now.

They were able to save money by dealing Speights, who had a reduced role this season after playing well last year when Randolph was injured.

All three guys should get more of an opportunity in Cleveland this season, but the trade doesn’t hurt the Cavs long-term plans as both Speights and Ellington will come off their books next season.

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Marreese Speights Memphis Grizzlies New York Knicks Wayne Ellington

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