Friday, February 19, 2016

Leadoff with Lee 2.19.16

By Chris Lee, @TripleThreatLee

After 12 years of loyalty, the Cavs and forward/center Anderson Varejao will be parting ways.

In a 3-team deal, the Cavaliers will receive Channing Frye from the Orlando Magic, and sending Anderson Varejao to the Portland Trail Blazers, along with a 2018 conditional 1st round pick. Jared Cunningham will be moved from Cleveland to Orlando with the Magic also getting a 2nd round pick from Portland. 

The Varejao/Cunningham-Frye deal will save the Cavs more than $10 million in salary and taxes this season. The 2018 1st round pick Cavs are trading to Portland is top 10 protected for 2 years. Cleveland also created new trade exception of $9.6M. 

The Portland Trail Blazers have already waived Anderson Varejao making him a free agent. As part of the trade, Varejao will receive a $1.17M trade bonus from Cleveland. The bonus does not have an impact on Cleveland's tax situation. Jared Cunningham is also expected to be waived by the Magic. Also, it should be noted that players traded away from a team, then released by their new team can NOT then be signed by their original team for at least 1 full year. This "Z Rule" came about because of the 2010 trade and waiving of Zydrunas Ilgauskas, in which Big Z returned to the Cavs after 30 days.

Notable NBA Trades:

Phoenix Suns has traded Markieff Morris to the Washington Wizards. The Suns get Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair and a protected first-round pick from Washington for Markieff Morris.

Oklahoma City Thunder sent D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak and two second-round picks to the Denver Nuggets for Randy Foye.

Kirk Hinrich goes from the Chicago Bulls to the Atlanta Hawks for a 2nd rounder.

Los Angeles Clippers traded Lance Stephenson and a draft pick to Memphis for Jeff Green.

Houston Rockets traded Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton to the Detroit Pistons for a protected 2016 1st round pick and Joel Anthony.

The Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks discussed a trade for Dwight Howard, but talks broke down in part because Howard wouldn't opt into his final year of the contract. Houston also talked Dwight Howard with Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas and Miami.

-The Cleveland Browns terminated the contracts of tight end Jim Dray and defensive lineman Randy Starks on Thursday. 

Dray joined the Browns as an unrestricted free agent in 2014. Last season, he had six catches for 61 yards. Mostly a blocking back, and with the emergence of Gary Barnidge, Dray became expendable. After signing with Cleveland in 2015, Starks started all 15 games played last season, registering 29 tackles (14 solo), one sack and one fumble recovery.

The Browns free up $4.7M by releasing Starks & Dray.

- According to Daily Mail Online, Colleen Crowley was devastated when friends pointed out social media photos and video from the weekend, which included Johnny Manziel rapping the Drake song "Back to Back." Recent video of Manziel partying at former Texas A&M teammate Mike Evans' wedding has left Colleen Crowley "mad and upset." She's mad that he is able to get on with life as normal as if none of this ever went down.

Manziel, who is being investigated by the Dallas police department for an alleged altercation with Crowley on Jan. 30, was a groomsman at Evans' wedding in downtown Houston last weekend. Dallas police investigating Johnny Manziel have finally obtained medical records for Colleen Crowley. 

- Five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen, who reached Super Bowl 50 with the Carolina Panthers this past season, announced his retirement from football Thursday.  Allen, 33, was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs (2004-07), Minnesota Vikings (2008-13), Chicago Bears (2014-15) and of course, Carolina Panthers (2015). Through his career, Allen was a 5x Pro Bowler, 4x First-team All-Pro, 2x NFL sacks leader and had 643 tackles, while being a member of the 100 Sacks Club with 136.

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