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State of the Cavaliers: Salary Obligations and Future Draft Picks

In light of the trade yesterday netting the Cleveland Cavaliers three new players and yet another protected draft selection, I thought it would be helpful to go through the team's obligations and assets moving forward. I will go through the future picks owed first, and then outline what the Cavs owe in 2013-2014, and 2014-2015.

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Future Draft Picks Owed

The first thing to note is that Cleveland has all of their own future first and second round draft picks. So we've got that going for us. Which is nice.

The Cavaliers are owed three second round picks, one in 2013, and two in 2014. Orlando must send both their 2013 and 2014 second round picks to Cleveland. The 2013 pick looks to be somewhere in the 35-40 range, based on where Orlando is in the standings. The other second round pick coming to Cleveland in 2014 is from Memphis.

The first round picks coming to Cleveland in the next few years are both more exciting and more complicated. Cleveland will get Miami's first round pick this season. It looks like it will be anywhere from 25-28. If the Lakers make the playoffs, Cleveland can opt to swap the Miami pick with Los Angeles. So if the Lakers were picking 18th, and Miami 26th, Los Angeles would end up picking 26th, and the Cavaliers would be at 18. If the Lakers miss the playoffs, an occurrence that Hollinger's playoff odds indicate is overwhelmingly likely to happen, Cleveland is stuck with Miami's pick. The good news is that even if the Lakers miss the playoffs, both Miami and LA get absolutely nothing.

Cleveland also still has a shot at Sacramento's first round pick this season. It is top 13 protected this season, top 12 protected in 2014, and top 10 protected from 2015-2017. The best case scenario for Cleveland would be for Los Angeles to get the 8th and final playoff spot out West, and for Sacramento to finish 9th. Believe it or not, Sacramento may have a better shot at getting to 9th than the Lakers do of making the playoffs. Either way, that Sacramento pick is going to come to Cleveland at some point, and my guess is that it will be in 2014.

Next, Cleveland has the Memphis first rounder acquired yesterday. It is 1-5 and 15-30 protected in both 2015 and 2016, 1-5 protected in 2017 and 2018, and unprotected in 2019.

Finally, the Cavaliers have Miami's first round pick in 2015, top 10 protected. There really isn't a good way to know what the Miami roster will look like in 2014-2015.

All of this information can be found at RealGM.

Salary Obligations

Cleveland doesn't have a bad contract on the books. Even Anderson Varejao, who has been unable to stay healthy for various reasons, doesn't hurt the financial flexibility of the team. He is owed $9.1 million next season, and $9.8 million the year after that, but it is a team option. If he gets hurt again next season or his production falls off, the team can decline the option. Still, that doesn't mean the team's flexibility will last forever. Guys on rookie contracts get consistent raises, and Kyrie will be up for a contract extension after next season. So let's take a look.


Anderson Varejao - $9.1 million

Kyrie Irving - $5.9 million

Tristan Thompson - $4.3 million

Dion Waiters - $3.9 million

Tyler Zeller - $1.6 million

Alonzo Gee - $3.25 million

Marreese Speights - $4.5 million (player option)

2013 first round pick (CLE) - $4 million (estimated)

2013 first round pick (MIA) - $1 million (estimated)

Total: $37.55 million, for nine roster spots.

The Cavaliers can pick up CJ Miles' $2.25 million option, or choose to extend Wayne Ellington a $3.1 million qualifying offer that would make him a restricted free agent. Even if they do both of those things, the Cavaliers are looking at $20 million in cap space this summer.


Varejao - $9.8 million (team option)

Irving - The rules for Irving are a little bit tricky. The Cavaliers will be able to sign Irving to a 5 year extension after Kyrie's third season but it won't go into affect until after his fourth season. If you want to know more about this, read Tom Ziller's explanation of the rules here. For our purposes, Kyrie's cap figure for this season will be $7.5 million, which is pretty freaking awesome.

Thompson - Tristan will also be eligible for an extension, but his figure will be $5.4 million

Dion Waiters - $4.1 million

Tyler Zeller - $1.7 million

2013 first round pick (CLE) - $5 million (estimated)

2013 first round pick (MIA) - $1 million (estimated)

2014 first round pick (CLE) - $2 million (estimated)

2014 first round pick (Sac) - $2 million (estimated)

Alonzo Gee -$3.25 million (team option)

Total: $41.75 for ten players. Leaves at least $20 million for free agency, but precludes much 2013 spending from carrying over. My takeaway: Cavaliers will not be very active this summer, and will make sure their flexibility extends to the summer of 2014. A two year deal for, say, David West at $10 million per season makes adding a a max guy in 2014 a bit more difficult.

Most of this info can be found at HoopsHype.