Front-Office Insider: The key deadline deals

The Vertical
Yahoo Sports

The Vertical Front-Office Insider Bobby Marks, a former longtime assistant general manager with the Nets, breaks down the key deals that occurred before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

THE DEAL
Cavs receive
Channing Frye

Magic receive
Jared Cunningham
Future second-round pick

Trail Blazers receive
Anderson Varejao
2018 first-round pick, protected Nos. 1-10 (from Cleveland)

THE THOUGHT PROCESS
For the Cavs
Frye provides the 3-point shooting off the bench the Cavaliers have lacked. Not as productive as his days in Phoenix, Frye will play a pivotal role during the playoffs.

Channing Frye gives the Cavs long-range shooting. (NBAE/Getty Images)
Channing Frye gives the Cavs long-range shooting. (NBAE/Getty Images)

Cleveland is over the cap next season and took advantage of obtaining a player under contract for the next few years. Based on offseason needs, Cleveland – similar to Detroit – got its shopping done before the summer.

For the Magic
It’s addition by subtraction for Orlando.

The deal is a good example of why a team shouldn’t be judged until its trade-deadline work is done.

The Magic acquiring Ersan Ilyasova in an earlier deal paved the way for the team to move Channing Frye. Orlando was able to shed Frye’s contract and get the younger and less expensive Ilyasova.

The move also sets up Orlando with significant cap space this summer.

For The Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers took advantage of their available cap space by obtaining a future first-round pick. The goal for Portland going into the deadline was obtaining key assets while also taking in salary to reach the $63 million cap floor. With the Brian Roberts trade earlier in the day, the Trail Blazers are close to that goal.

SALARY-CAP AND LUXURY-TAX IMPACT
For the Cavs
The Cavaliers will save $9 million in luxury taxes, with their tax bill dropping from $61.9 million to $52.8 million.

Because Cleveland is over the cap next season, there is no loss in cap space in obtaining Frye.

For the Magic
Orlando is now $7.6 million below the salary cap.

The maximum cap space Orlando could have this summer is $47 million.

However, with key free-agent cap holds on the books, the most likely scenario is Orlando having $24 million in room. Based on Ilyasova’s partially guaranteed contract, that room could grow if he’s waived before July.

For the Trail Blazers
Before the trade Portland was $13 million below the $63 million salary-cap floor. If the Trail Blazers hadn’t reached the floor, the $13 million would have been divided among their current players.

Obtaining Varejao and Roberts (in the Miami deal) will save Portland $9 million. Although both players’ salaries will count against the cap, Portland will only owe the players a combined $4 million in salary for the rest of the season.

Cap space for Portland this summer will depend on cap holds for Meyers Leonard, Allen Crabbe, Mo Harkless and Gerald Henderson. Even with these four holds, the Trail Blazers will still have $13 million in cap space. If Henderson signs with another team, the Trail Blazers’ cap room will grow to $21 million.

DRAFT-PICK DETAILS
Portland will receive a 2018 first-round pick from Cleveland, protected Nos. 1-10.

Because Cleveland owes Phoenix its first-round pick this season, the Cavaliers could not trade a first until 2018. Teams cannot trade picks in consecutive years.

THE CONTRACTS
Anderson Varejao
The Trail Blazers will waive Varejao once the trade is approved.

Because Varejao had a 5 percent trade bonus, Cleveland will owe him $1.1 million within 30 days.

Portland will have a $10.2 million cap hit for 2015-16 for Varejao, but will only have to pay him $3.1 million for the remainder of the season.

The remaining $9.9 million owed to Varejao next season will be stretched out over three seasons for a cap hit of $3.3 million in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Once Varejao is waived, he will not be eligible to sign with Cleveland this season.

Channing Frye
Frye is in the second year of a four-year contract signed in 2014 and is signed through 2017-18.

The cap hit for the current season is $8.2 million and is $7.8 million in 2016-17 and $7.4 million in 2017-18.

Jared Cunningham
Jared Cunningham is in the final year of a $947,276 contract.

ONE MORE THING
All three teams had different goals in mind before the deadline.

Cleveland wants to win now and coveted a bench player to stretch the floor and relieve Kevin Love. The Frye trade accomplished this goal.

Orlando must make the most of its cap space this summer and take a step forward. That will be tough with a less-than-appealing free-agent class.

For Portland it was a good day, saving money and getting a solid pick.

THE DEAL
The Pistons receive
Donatas Motiejunas
Marcus Thornton


The Rockets receive
Joe Anthony (traded to Philadelphia)
2016 first-round pick, lottery protected Nos. 1-8

THE THOUGHT PROCESS
For the Pistons
Detroit continues the trend it started earlier in the week, obtaining young players on controllable contracts. When healthy, Motiejunas brings a different element to the court. Missing the majority of the season with back issues, Motiejunas is that rare 7-footer who can play power forward and center.

Marcus Thornton is a specialist and will help the Pistons off the bench, especially in the absence of Jodie Meeks, who has been injured this season.

For the Rockets
Motiejunas, who missed the end of last season and most of this season recovering from back surgery, was never able to find a role this year. The Rockets cashed in on the pending restricted free agent with a lottery pick while also going under the luxury-tax line, thus creating significant savings.

DRAFT-PICK DETAILS
Houston will receive a 2016 first-round pick, protected from Nos. 1-8, from Detroit. If the Pistons fall out of playoff contention and stumble among the top eight of the lottery, Houston will receive the pick in 2017, protected from Nos. 1-10.

The Pistons’ first-round pick helps the Rockets offset the lottery-protected first-round selection sent to Denver last summer in the Ty Lawson trade.

SALARY-CAP AND LUXURY-TAX IMPACT
For the Pistons
The Pistons will add $600,000 in salary and increase their cap figure from $76.4 million to $77 million. The Pistons are under the luxury-tax line.

With the free-agent cap holds of Andre Drummond and Motiejunas, the Pistons will now have $7 million in cap space. Detroit cannot sign either player for it to use cap space.

For the Rockets
Houston saves $4.4 million in luxury taxes and falls below the tax line. The Rockets are also eligible to receive a tax distribution from the league’s six tax-paying teams.

The Rockets are now $244,000 below the luxury-tax line.

The Rockets also now have two open roster spots.

Trading Motiejunas also relieves the Rockets of his $5.7 million cap hold. The Rockets’ cap space will depend on what potential free agent Dwight Howard does. If Howard leaves, Houston could have close to $33 million in room.

THE CONTRACTS
Donatas Motiejunas
Motiejunas is in the final year of his rookie contract, which was signed in 2012.

The cap hit for the current season is $2.2 million.

Motiejunas will be a restricted free agent in July with full Bird rights.

Marcus Thornton
Thornton is in the final year of his contract.

The cap hit for the current season is $947,276.

Joel Anthony
Anthony is under contract through 2016-17, with a non-guaranteed contract for next season.

Anthony was eventually traded to Philadelphia on Thursday in a separate deal.

The cap hit for Philadelphia this year is $2.5 million and $2.5 million in 2016-17 if Anthony is not waived.

There is not a cut date in Anthony’s contract.

ONE MORE THING
Detroit and Houston achieved what they set out to accomplish.

Although Detroit sacrificed a first-round pick to get him, Motiejunas should be a part of the Pistons’ future. Do not discount Thornton from playing a role down the stretch this season. He could contribute if the Pistons make the playoffs.

The Rockets did not get immediate on-court help, but the potential lottery pick could serve as a key asset in a trade or if the Rockets elect to keep it. Although Houston has disappointed this season, getting under the luxury-tax is an accomplishment on the financial end.

THE DEAL
Grizzlies receive
Lance Stephenson
Future first-round pick, lottery protected


Clippers receive
Jeff Green

THE THOUGHT PROCESS
For the Grizzlies
Memphis was able to replenish its assets from picks traded in past deals. Combined with the Courtney Lee trade to Charlotte on Wednesday, the Grizzlies have signaled that the trade deadline was about acquiring assets and not improving the product on the court.

For the Clippers
The Clippers are in win-now mode. Acquiring Green gives the Clippers some breathing room until Blake Griffin returns from his injury. The versatile Green will likely come off the bench when Griffin returns. One benefit is that the Clippers can go small more easily during the playoffs. Green could slide to the power forward and allow Griffin to play center.

SALARY-CAP AND LUXURY-TAX IMPACT
For the Grizzlies
There is no tax implication for Memphis, however the Grizzlies gave themselves more room below the tax. The trade saw Memphis go from $83.2 million to $82.8 million, thus allowing the Grizzlies to operate $2 million under the tax.

Memphis will need to make a decision by the end of June on Stephenson, whose contract has a team option for 2016-17. Although cap space is fluid, Memphis could have close to $20 million in room to use while also keeping Mike Conley.

For the Clippers
The Clippers’ tax bill increased from $18.4 million to $19.8 million.

There are no future cap implications for the Clippers. Green is an expiring contract, and Lance Stephenson was probably going to be waived in June.

The Clippers will likely be over the cap in July, but Los Angeles can sign Green and exceed the cap because he will have full Bird rights.

DRAFT-PICK DETAILS
The Clippers will send Memphis a first-round pick.

The pick is lottery-protected and cannot be conveyed until Toronto receives the Clippers’ pick in 2017, 2018 or 2019 from a previous trade. All three years are lottery-protected.

If the pick to Toronto is conveyed in 2017, the Grizzlies will then receive the Clippers’ lottery-protected pick in 2019.

THE CONTRACTS
Lance Stephenson
Stephenson is under contract through 2016-17, with a team option that will need to be exercised by June 29.

The cap hit for Memphis is $9 million for this year and $9.4 million in 2016-17, if the option is exercised.

Jeff Green
Green is in the final year of a $35 million contract signed with Boston in 2012.

The cap hit for the current season is $9.45 million. Green has $250,000 of likely bonuses factored into his cap figure.

ONE MORE THING
Memphis and the Clippers are going in opposite directions.

With the Marc Gasol injury, the Grizzlies are closer to the lottery than competing with Golden State or San Antonio. The shift from being a competitive team to a possible playoff outsider does come with risk. Memphis will send Denver its first-round pick this year if it’s between Nos. 6-14.

Trading a first-round pick for a rental player is risky for the Clippers. However, the true outcome of this trade will be determined after the playoffs and when the Grizzlies receive their future pick.

THE DEAL
Suns receive
DeJuan Blair
Kris Humphries
2016 first-round pick, top-nine protected



Wizards receive
Markieff Morris

THE THOUGHT PROCESS
For the Suns
The Suns would have held on to Morris if the right deal didn’t come along. Obtaining a potential lottery pick from Washington and having the ability to shed Morris’ contract was an offer the Suns couldn’t refuse.

For the Wizards
The trade is a clear sign that Washington is willing to risk future cap space to make a late playoff push. However, with both Charlotte and Detroit improving in recent days, making the playoffs will be a challenge for Washington, especially because of its inconsistent play and injuries.

SALARY-CAP AND LUXURY-TAX IMPACT
For the Suns
The Suns are closer to the salary cap than the luxury-tax line. Phoenix now has a payroll of $73 million, down from $74.6 million.

By shedding Morris’ guaranteed contract, the Suns will have $14 million in cap space. The cap room will increase to $20 million if the Mirza Teletovic and Jon Leuer cap holds are released.

For the Wizards
The Wizards are now $921,957 below the tax line. Before the deal Washington was $2.2 million below it.

Although Morris’ contract is guaranteed next season, Washington still has $25 million in cap space. If the Wizards line up their books correctly, they can use that room to add players and also bring back Bradley Beal.

DRAFT-PICK DETAILS
Phoenix will receive a top-nine protected first-round pick from Washington in 2016. If Washington is among the top-nine selections, the pick will carry over with the same protection in 2017.

Phoenix could have three first-round picks this year. The Suns also have their own first-rounder as well as Cleveland’s.

In total, the Suns could have seven first-round picks in the next four seasons.

THE CONTRACTS
Kris Humphries
Humphries is under contract through 2016-17. Humphries’ contract will become guaranteed if he’s not waived by June 30.

The cap hit for Phoenix is $4.4 million this year and $4.6 million in 2016-17 if Humphries is not waived.

DeJuan Blair
Blair is under contract through 2016-17, and his contract will become guaranteed if he’s not waived by June 30.

The cap hit for Phoenix is $2 million this year and $2 million in 2016-17 if Blair is not waived.

Markieff Morris
Morris is in the first year of a four-year rookie extension signed in 2014. The cap hit for Morris this season is $8 million and $7.4 million in 2016-17. In 2017-18 and 2018-19, the cap hit is $8 million and $8.6 million, respectively. The contract is guaranteed.

ONE MORE THING
The trade will be judged on Morris’ performance on the court and his conduct off it, but it does come with considerable risk for Washington.

Morris will stand trial in May on felony aggravated assault charges. There could be some consequences based on how the trial unfolds.

Washington, like most teams, was diligent the past few weeks doing background research on Morris. If Washington has the success that the Pistons have had with his brother, Marcus, this trade could benefit Washington.

Phoenix saved face by obtaining a lottery pick for a player who was not in its future plans. But if Morris flourishes in Washington, questions will arise regarding how the Suns handled Morris.

THE DEAL
Nuggets receive
D.J. Augustin
Steve Novak
Two 2016 second-round picks, from Oklahoma City and Charlotte



Thunder receive
Randy Foye

THE THOUGHT PROCESS
For the Nuggets
Denver was able to get two second-round picks this year for a player who is going to be a free agent this summer. Although extra roster spots were used to bring back Augustin and Novak, Denver has had a knack in recent drafts of finding hidden gems.

For the Thunder
The trade is a combination of acquiring shooting and luxury-tax savings. Although Foye has shot below 40 percent the past few seasons, he will be relied on more in a specialist role when the playoffs come around. Augustin became expendable because of the play of rookie Cameron Payne. It will be interesting to see how Payne handles the added pressure of the playoffs.

Randy Foye could be a key reserve for the Thunder. (AP)
Randy Foye could be a key reserve for the Thunder. (AP)

SALARY-CAP AND LUXURY-TAX IMPACT
For the Nuggets
Denver used part of its $5.2 million disabled player exception to help facilitate this trade. Because Augustin and Novak are in the last year of their deals, the exception was available to use on either player and there are no cap implications for Denver this summer.

Although salary was added, Denver received cash to offset the financial impact.

Augustin will have early Bird rights; Novak full Bird rights.

For the Thunder
The Thunder will save $8 million in luxury tax and created an open roster spot.

There are no cap implications for Oklahoma City this summer because Foye was in the last year of his contract.

He will have full Bird rights if Oklahoma City were to sign him.

THE CONTRACTS
D.J. Augustin
Augustin is in the final year of a $6 million contract signed with Detroit in 2014.

The cap hit for Denver this year is $3 million.

Steve Novak
Novak is in the final year of a $15 million contract signed with New York in 2012.

The cap hit for Denver this year is $3.75 million.

Randy Foye
Foye is in the final year of a $9 million contract signed with Utah in 2013 before he was traded to Denver.

The cap hit for Oklahoma City this year is $3.1 million.

ONE MORE THING
This trade benefited both Denver and Oklahoma City.

The Thunder reduced their tax bill and added a proven veteran shooter for the playoffs.

Denver will once again rely on its scouting department in June. Having open roster space paid off for the Nuggets at the deadline.

THE DEALS
Miami got below the luxury-tax line with two separate transactions Thursday: its trade with the New Orleans Pelicans and its deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Heat receive
Luxury tax savings

The Pelicans receive
Jarnell Stokes
Cash

The Trail Blazers receive
Brian Roberts
Future second-round Pick

THE THOUGHT PROCESS
For the Heat
Both trades were about the bottom line. A repeater-tax team before the season started, the Heat now find themselves below the tax threshold for the first time.

For the Pelicans
New Orleans will get a two-month look at Stokes, a 2014 second-round pick. Consider the opportunity to be free because the Heat sent cash to offset Stokes’ salary.

For the Trail Blazers
Roberts, who was traded twice the past two days, will provide veteran leadership as the Trail Blazers fight for a playoff spot. The deal also helped Portland inch closer to the $63 million salary floor required by the league.

SALARY-CAP AND LUXURY-TAX IMPACT
For the Heat
The luxury-tax implications are huge for the Heat.

Factor in the trade earlier in the week with Memphis and Charlotte, and Miami will have saved a total of $14 million in luxury tax, including $6 million by moving Roberts.

Miami is currently $213,000 below the tax line.

There are no cap implications this summer because Roberts will be a free agent in July, and Stokes’ contract for next season is not guaranteed.

For the Pelicans
Although the Pelicans will take a cap hit of $845,059 for the Stokes contract, New Orleans will only owe him $273,000 for the remainder of the season. But Miami sent New Orleans cash, so Stokes will not have a financial impact for the Pelicans.

For the Trail Blazers
Portland was $20 million below the cap and was able to absorb Roberts’ contract with available room. The trade helps Portland get closer to the $63 million salary floor. Although the cap hit for Roberts is $2.8 million, the Trail Blazers only owe him $923,000 for the remainder of the season.

There are no cap implications for next season.

THE CONTRACTS
Brian Roberts
Roberts is in the final year of a $5.5 million contract signed with Charlotte in 2014.

The cap hit for Portland this year is $2.8 million.

Jarnell Stokes
Stokes is under contract through 2016-17. Stokes’ contract will become guaranteed if he is not waived by July 15.

The cap hit for New Orleans this year is $845,059 and $980,431 in 2016-17 if Stokes is not waived.

ONE MORE THING
This trade was strictly a financial move for the Heat.

Miami did not add talent but did accomplish its goal of getting under the tax line. The Heat also created two roster spots in case a buyout candidate is available in March.

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