For those of you that may have missed it, Carrick Felix, the Cavaliers 33rd overall pick last year, was dealt late last night in a move to create more leniency financially to make the Love deal work:
So why trade away a future 2nd round pick as well as last years' second rounder? All three players received in this deal have non-guaranteed contracts that can be waived before the season starts. Furthermore, Carrick Felix only had a cap hold of $816,482, whereas the total incoming salary was $3,364,645, meaning the Cavs gained nearly $2.5 million in trade fillers that can be waived by the team receiving them in a trade.
The reason this is important is that the Cavs are currently over the salary cap and cannot receive any more than 125% plus $100,000 of what they send out in a trade. Currently, the reported trade on the table to Minnesota is Wiggins/Bennett/Future Firsts. Bennett has a cap hold of $5,563,920 while Wiggins will be signed to a contract that must follow the rookie salary scale. With this scale, Wiggins can be signed to a first year amount of 120% of his slot (#1 overall), meaning the maximum would be $5,510,640.
With Love's salary of $15,719,063, the Cavs would need to put together at least $12,495,250 in order to make the trade work under the current CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). Wiggins and Bennett make up $11,074,560 of the total, leaving a $1,420,690 gap in salary (Note: future picks cannot count towards salary cap). This trade essentially made it possible for a simple trade of Carrick Felix to cover that gap. Now the Cavs can trade Lucas (and possibly Thomas and Murphy as well) in order to make the trade work from a financial perspective. Personally, I think that Murphy may stay on the roster to give the team a bit more depth and flexibility in the front-court, even though he has had extremely limited on-court time.
All of this does seem to lend itself to the notion that this trade will occur. The biggest domino left to fall though is Wiggins signing his contract, which makes much more sense for salary purposes, allowing the Cavs to hang on to Waiters and Thompson even with this deal. Unfortunately, along with signing his contract, Wiggins could not be traded for at least 30 days. This is not to say that the deal could not be "completed" before that time, but it will not be official until then.
So what do you think Cavs fans? Is a Wiggins/Bennett/Lucas/Future Firsts deal worth it for Love?
Can you win a championship this year with a Kyrie/Waiters/LeBron/Love/Andy lineup?
Was LeBron's excluding of Wiggins and Bennett in his "I'm Coming Home" article foreshadowing of this very event? (Check his shoutouts in the 4th to last paragraph)
Buckle up, we're still in for the second half of a crazy offseason.
All salary information courtesy of Spotrac.com.