The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded Rakeem Christmas to the Indiana Pacers for a 2019 second-round pick owed by the Los Angles Lakers. Christmas, the 36th pick in the 2015 NBA draft, averaged eight points and 4.5 rebounds in four summer league games for the Cavaliers.
The move seems to signify that the Cavs were unwilling to commit a guaranteed roster spot to the rookie, or perhaps they have an arrangement in place to bring in another guaranteed contract.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst offered up his opinion on what this move might signify for the Cavs next move:
The trade gives the Cavs roster flexibility and an asset they may use in moving Haywood to create a large trade exception within the next week.
While a final decision hasn't been reached, the Cavs have nearly come to the conclusion they will not be able to find a suitable deal to use Haywood's $10.52 million non-guaranteed contract, sources said.
So this pick could be paired with Haywood in a trade to the Portland Trailblazers or Philadelphia 76ers in order to create trade exception. What this means is that the Cavs would be able to keep the cap space available to absorb a player on the later date. That exception can only be created if they trade Haywood to a team for no additional contracts; therefore, Portland and Philly are the only teams with enough space to take on Haywood's contract.
The other thing this trade might signify is that the Cavs are close to signing Sasha Kaun, their international prospect who has been playing overseas.
While their next move isn't clear yet, this one adds future assets and opens up flexibility for David Griffin, something he is continually looking to maintain to the fullest extent possible.