Brendan Haywood has been the biggest name in the NBA trade rumor mill lately, and he finally got dealt on Monday afternoon. More valuable for his contract than his actual playing ability at this point in his career, Haywood was shipped to the Portland Trail Blazers along with swing man Mike Miller to help the Cavaliers receive a trade exception.
This move was all about finances, as Cleveland gets a trade exception and an open roster spot by unloading the 35-year old big man. Portland, meanwhile, gets two free second round draft picks (one in 2019 and the other in 2020), for eating salary of two players. Both Haywood and Miller are expected to received buyouts from Portland so they can either retire or latch on with contending teams.
It’s a win-win move for both sides, as the Cavs get a little more flexibility to finish filling out their roster. They do lose a quality floor spacer in Mike Miller, but after a severely dimished role, it doesn’t look like the Cavs are losing much sleep over the loss. The move is equally beneficial for the Blazers, who were already seemingly done piecing their roster together for the 2015-16 NBA season. They also had room to host the two extra salaries and should still be able to dump both players and still fill out their roster. In other words, they get two second round draft picks for nothing but some cash.
Mike Miller’s Next Stop
In an otherwise meaningless move, this trade could at least give Mike Miller a chance at latching on with a contender. Miller can still shoot the ball from outside and it’s possible a contending team could see him at best as a nice bench shooter, and at worst a nice veteran presence to help bring a title contender together. Miller could always opt for retirement, as well, as he’s already won two NBA titles with the Miami Heat and at 35 years old could decide to let back and knee woes signal the end of a solid career.
There were also whispers that Miller actually approved this trade due to a desire to get more playing time. That could be the case, but there have also been rumors that Miller won’t be in Portland for long. Miller will likely still play for a playoff team in 2015-16, but Haywood’s days in the league have probably come to an end. Haywood was limited to 25 appearances with the Cavs a year ago and while he could still serve as depth for a contending team, may not see many offers come his way.