July 24, 2014

NBA Rumors: Cavs want to re-sign Ellington, may decline Miles and Speights

With Mike Brown looking to take hold of the Cleveland Cavaliers heading into 2013-14, it appears that Wayne Ellington appears to be one of the only reserves in the plans going forward.

In a recent report from Bob Finnan of The News-Herald, the Cavaliers appear geared to present Ellington with a qualifying offer that will allow the team to match any offers he gets in the restricted market. Finnan added that the team is not 100 percent certain on bringing back veteran swingman CJ Miles ,and is set to part ways with forward/center Marreese Speights.

“The Cavs would like to sign Ellington,” writes Finnain. “That means presenting him a qualifying offer of $3 million. It’s not as easy with Speights. It appears as if they hope he opts out of his deal. He might not fit their culture… The Cavs [also] own a team option on swingman C.J. Miles’ $2 million contract for next season. It’s not cut-and-dry that they pick it up, like once thought.”

Miles is under contract for an affordable $2 million in 2013-14, and provided quality depth off of the bench last season, averaging 11.2 points per game. The 25-year-old Speights is a bit of a different story as he will likely decline his player option and test the open market where he will garner more money that the team is willing to spend at this stage of their rebuilding process. Following the trade to Cleveland, Speights averaged 10.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, largely as a reserve.

If the Cavaliers do decline Miles’ option, and Speights opts out of his, the team will have less than $26 million in committed salaries heading into the draft.

[Related: The Diff: Regression to the mean and the Cavaliers]

  • bill

    The first thing one needs to know about this article is – Finnan isn’t much for frivolous things like actual facts.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    That was my recommendation for them… Miles had a great season in his role, but not sure about his defense. Speights is ok, but whatever he wasn’t great on defense either. Ellington is a true 3-and-D guy to bring off the bench… I like him a lot in that role.

  • woofersus

    That is good to know, although most of that is fairly logical and obvious. Speights will opt out and the Cavs don’t like him enough to make him the highest paid player on the team. Ellington is one of the best reserves on the team and they almost certainly like him more than miles. Letting go of Miles is curious though. He’s inexpensive and was relatively productive. I’m guessing they plan on adding a SF, which would push him to third string. I can’t help but wonder if Mike Brown wants to bring Boobie back instead because he plays defense. (and he knows Brown’s defensive system, as does Walton)

  • woofersus

    Agree completely, but there’s no mention of Livingston, who I also think should be a top priority.

  • dwhit110

    I’d be fine with this. Miles and Speights don’t play enough defense and are too much in “I’ve got to get mine” mode when coming off the bench. I’d love to see Livingston and Ellington back. Move Zeller and Gee to the bench (Varejao gets healthy–knock on wood–and we draft a starting caliber SF) and you’re starting to build a decent reserve unit.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    You and me both, woof. I would really like to see Shaun signed again… I just hope that he has reasonable expectations of his own value. I’d hate to see him go for a cash grab to play for a team that just ends up sticking him at the end of the bench. I think he has more long-term value by playing with the Cavs (assuming they learn from watching film of last season to know how to take advantage of Livingston’s strengths on offense). I’d be really excited to see what Mike Brown can do with him as a defender, as well.

  • Harv 21

    Ellington is kind of gritty on defense and can flash some offense – I can see him doing well under Mike Brown. Speights was on fire when he got here, making me wonder why a team would just dump a guy like that. When he lost interest and kind of faded out, in a contract option year, it became clearer. Beware the talented big man that teams aren’t so anxious to keep.

    CJ would certainly give Mike his Angushed Face and sideline Hopping with Hand Waiving thingy, but that dude can come off the bench gunning and smoking. Every team needs that guy, and that guy doesn’t play defense. Why not CJ? At least someone who experienced Jerry Sloan won’t let Mike’s screaming about his defense affect his offense like it might a younger player.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think there’s real truth to this and it’d be a shame… Miles is just a much better player right now than Boobie is, Mike Brown or no Mike Brown.

  • Bourn, Michael Bourn

    Let’s not forget that Mike Brown LOVES long guard that can play defense, so Livingston certainly seems like a fit. Especially with the slightly undersized Waiters manning the 2.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Indeed, but I do and always will object to Waiters being called “undersized”. His height is undersized, but his length is on par with the position… kid’s got some long arms, thick frame, and big hops. Mike Brown also used Gibson to guard SGs, so I’m sure he can make a solid defender out of Waiters.

  • mgbode

    wait, are you throwing an inference that Mike Brown would bring Walton back for defensive purposes?

  • mgbode

    agreed

  • woofersus

    I’m not necessarily saying Gibson would play big minutes again, but if we’re talking end-of-bench type depth I can see him wanting a guy who buys into the defensive mindset and knows the system. It’s not necessarily either/or between those two either, but I can see choosing Ellington and Gee (as a backup SF) over Miles, and maybe not wanting him at all if they don’t think he’ll play much defense or light the world on fire otherwise.

  • Harv 21

    I’ve been hearing Boobie return paranoia, but he looks about done. Forget the lack of scoring – he’s been missing increasing time for nagging injuries and mysterious “personal issues” despite playing few minutes. He was an ok bench piece when they only needed a PG to hand the ball to LeBron and hang out on the wing, even though he can’t really dribble and won’t drive. He’s too small to play or guard the 2-guard position, and he doesn’t shoot nearly as well as Miles at this point, if he ever did.

    Hard for me to believe that Mike Brown’s return would revive Boobie’s body or game.

  • woofersus

    That wasn’t intentional. I was just throwing his name in there as another guy who knows Brown’s system. I do think that he might be a good guy to have around to help teach it to the younger guys, even if his legs won’t let him effectively guard anybody possessing NBA athleticism. I do think he’s a guy they should consider bringing back if the price was right.

  • woofersus

    It’s true that he never had the ball skills to play PG, and the only think he could really do as a SG was take spot up jumpers since he can’t create his own shot, (and was fairly streaky even then) but he plays defense and is still pretty good on ball at the perimeter. At the beginning of just this past season he was one of their better bench players and Scott was singing the praises of his hard work on the defensive end. I’m not sure exactly what put him in the doghouse, or what personal issues were going on, but when he got back on the court at the end of the year after something like 40 dnp’s he looked so rusty and unsure of what to do with the whole new crew around him it’s a little unfair to judge him on those minutes.

    I’m not saying he should be somebody who plays a lot of minutes, or that he’s going to suddenly become Ray Allen from the stripe. (and even if his body got 5 years younger I’d probably put him behind both Waiters and Ellington on the depth chart) I just think that if there are going to be guys at the end of the bench who don’t play much, I can see Brown wanting one of them to be a guy who hustles on defense and knows his system. Maybe even be part of a defensive package that comes in and tries to hold those massive leads for a few minutes.

  • Harv 21

    so you’re saying his veteran savvy makes him a better 3rd string option than a Sloan or Pargo. OK, I get that. Just seems to me 1) unlike those d-league guys, he appears to need more minutes to stay sharp, but gets injured with minutes; 2) Boobie needs a Batman getting all the defensive attention to be any sort of Robin, and Batman flew to South Beach.

    But also, I sense Boobie’s head is elsewhere, not wit this team or maybe he’s not interested in residing in Cleveland 7-8 months a year. I think at least last year he acted like he wanted out.

  • Harv 21

    agree with this size analysis. On offense it’s clear he can get his shot about whenever he wants. On defense he can be at least adequate because of his quicks, strength and Philly swag … if he decides that defense should be part of his game. He played only zone defense in college, and it’s apparent that Byron was not the guy to teach anyone man to man. It’s possible Brown v, Waiters this summer and fall might result in some epic head-butting.

  • woofersus

    Yeah, pretty much. I don’t really have any idea what was going on with him. Could have been something personal, or a nagging injury, or just Scott being a little bit fickle with what players he felt like using. I’m generally not worried about it though, since it’s a new year and a new (old) coach, and he’s always been regarded as a really good guy.

    I’m not sure he needs a lot of minutes as much as to see the floor more than once a month, but also, I think that the situations he played in late in the year were not good ones for his skill set. Instead of being used as a defensive presence, or floor spacer, he was thrown out there with Quinn, Casspi, Walton, etc., and it exposed his lack of offense pretty badly. He couldn’t create his own shots or make contested shots, and he wasn’t getting good screens or having anybody draw the defense to the basket. It also served as a reminder that one decent perimeter defender does not make for decent perimeter defense. The injuries are a real concern, but it’s not like he’s going to cost a ton.

  • Jaker

    If given the chance, why wouldn’t we keep these guys on one year deals? They’d both be playing hard for their next contracts, and at the very worst they provide us with very solid depth on the bench. If we don’t want them for the future, we can deal them for draft picks or young pieces.

    Keeping Miles seems like a no brainer, while I can see us letting go of Speights if he nets a long term deal

  • Jaker

    Paging Mr. Porter

  • Malisha123

    I think we should keep Miles. I like Boobie, but he’s hurt every other game. sorry. I think Speights was disinterested once he got settled in, and he’s probably hoping to go to a contender. Him missing team flights shows me his professionalism can be questioned. I say try to get Livingston for a descent price, more like what Gee is getting, and keep Ellington. I did like what Walton brung, and there’s no sense in getting rid of him when we can sign him for cheap. I loved the 2nd unit that we had and they made a good group.