On the plus side for Memphis Grizzlies fans, they don’t have to worry about new owner Robert Pera having to reach deep into his wallet to pay the punitive repeater luxury tax in the years ahead.
As if Grizz fans care about Pera’s wallet.
The verdict here is that the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off a heist Tuesday in making their 3-for-1 trade with the Grizzlies, acquiring Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby and a first-round pick in exchange for Jon Leuer.
Adios to the only 3-point shooting threat the Grizzlies had on their bench.
Ellington was by no means a lights-out shooter, but he was 3-for-3 in Monday’s matinee loss to the Indiana Pacers, and he had games earlier this season in which he knocked down 7 treys (against Miami) and six 3-pointers (against Sacramento).
To look at it another way, of the Grizzlies’ 188 3-pointers (tied with Chicago for fewest in the NBA), Ellington has accounted for 41 of them — about 20 percent of the team’s total, and this despite playing an average of less than 17 minutes per game.
The second-year pro is still looking for his first career 3.
But he is not going to be shooting from outside for Memphis. Instead, he will be asked to come off the bench in the frontcourt and provide what Speights had been providing — quality minutes from a backup big on a team whose front-line talent
is was among the best in the West.
Granted, Speights was only playing about 15 minutes per game. But Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol both play a ton of minutes for the fourth-best team in the West, which will now be relying even more on Darrell Arthur to shoulder that burden.
Stay healthy, D.
Selby is probably the least important of the three Grizzlies who are departing, but he was the star of the Las Vegas summer league last year and was a nice insurance policy — especially as a 3-point threat — if needed.
The Grizzlies will need to hope Jarryd Bayless stays healthy as the backup to Mike Conley, because there ain’t a whole lot else in the backcourt. It remains to be seen what they’ll get out of Bill Walker, Delonte West and/or Sasha Vujacic, all of whom are reportedly going to sign with Memphis in the coming days.
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