Cleveland Cavaliers in pursuit of another draft pick as Thursday’s trade deadline looms
As the NBA nears Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, the Cavaliers remain in pursuit of another first-round pick to add to their bulging war chest of draft picks. With time running out, there is at least a decent chance they don’t get it. There was little chatter regarding the Cavs during the All-Star break in Houston, and for all the conjecture over Mo Speights’ future, multiple sources said over the weekend and again on Tuesday his name has yet to really gain traction in any trade talk. Speights would seem a likely candidate to move because he has a player option for next season. Neither Speights nor his agent, Andy Miller, has given any indication if he will pick up the $4.5 million option for next season or opt instead for free agency. But about half of the league’s teams could have cap space next summer, making it likely Speights could get a long-term deal making at least the $4.5 million he will earn next season on his current deal. “I ain’t looking forward to free agency yet,” Speights said Tuesday. For what it’s worth, Speights waived his Bird rights and had to approve the deal to come to the Cavs from the Memphis Grizzlies last month, but that’s not a guarantee he’s willing to pass up long-term security to remain with the Cavs. Coach Byron Scott avoided all trade speculation on Tuesday. “I like him. I like what Mo’s done,” Scott said. “I wouldn’t be unhappy if he’s here, let’s put it that way. If he’s here after the 21st, I wouldn’t be unhappy at all.” A more likely trade scenario for the Cavs would be taking on salary to help a team get under the luxury tax threshold. The Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls are two of seven teams that have never paid a luxury tax penalty, yet both are over the threshold this season. The Warriors are over by less than $1 million and the Bulls are over by a little less than $4 million. As part of the new collective bargaining agreement, a complicated tax structure will take affect next season that punishes teams harsher for being over the cap, and as the seasons pass, it punishes teams that are repeat violators.
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