Heading into the 2015 NBA Draft, many thought Cleveland Cavalier center Brendan Haywood would be dealt. Haywood, a veteran with 13 years of experience signed a 6 year $55 million deal in 2010 with the Dallas Mavericks. However, the deal was not fully guaranteed. Haywood is set to make $10.5 million dollars this year but if waived by August 1st, the Cavaliers owe him nothing. But rather than just cut him, it’s in the Cavs best interest to move him and bring back another player who can contribute, making roughly $10.5 million a year all the while clearing cap space for a trade partner. The Cavs tried and ultimately extended their deadline.
The Cavs traded Haywood, forward Mike Miller, and two 2nd round draft picks to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for well nothing. The Cavaliers will however receive a $10.5 million and $2.85 million trade exception. These are the figures that Haywood and Miller had been set to make this year. The exceptions last one year. The move allows the Cavs extra time, seemingly until the upcoming seasons trade deadline to use the $10.5 million exception. By that time, Cleveland will hope to pounce on a player from a team that has since fallen out of the playoff race and is looking to clean house.
The moving of Mike Miller comes as a bit of a surprise. Miller has essentially followed LeBron James over the course of the last 4 or 5 years. However, by dealing Miller in addition to Haywood, the Cavaliers lower their tax bill. Cleveland also recently moved 2015 2nd round pick Rakeem Christmas in order to avoid paying him and a steeper luxury tax bill. Cleveland still has to handle deals with Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova, and possibly JR Smith.