Reporting Daryl Ruiter
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Marreese Speights declined to pick up the player option for the final year of his contract the Cleveland Cavaliers announced Sunday.
Speights, who had until June 29 to exercise the option, was scheduled to make $4.5 million next season but will become an unrestricted free agent instead.
The Cavaliers acquired Speights along with guards Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby, and a future first-round draft pick from the Memphis Grizzlies for forward Jon Leuer on Jan. 23.
Speights averaged 8.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game between Memphis and Cleveland last season. The five-year veteran played in 39 games and averaged 10.2 points on .457 shooting, and 5.1 rebounds in 18.4 minutes for the Cavaliers.
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that the Cavaliers also have declined to tender a qualifying offer of $3 million to Ellington – also making him a free agent.
Ellington, who averaged 10.4 points and shot 44 percent in 38 games after the trade, would’ve become a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer which would’ve given the Cavaliers the opportunity to match any contract offer made to him.
General manager Chris grant will enter free agency with over $20 million in salary cap space and he said last Friday that the team plans to be very aggressive this offseason.
Grant has spent the last 3 years acquiring additional draft picks as well as positioning the team to have room for a max contract for the summer of 2014 when several marquee free agents could be available.