Utah Jazz trade Lucas, Thomas and Murphy to Cleveland
NBA • Deal could help Cavs clear the deck for Wolves’ Kevin Love
Published: July 23, 2014 01:54PM
Updated: July 22, 2014 09:53PM
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Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah's Kevin Murphy looks for the ball during second half action in the Utah Jazz versus the Milwaukee Bucks basketball game at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah Wednesday February 6, 2013.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been angling to add All-Star forward Kevin Love alongside LeBron James.

And the Utah Jazz may have helped make a deal possible.

Utah on Tuesday traded John Lucas III, Erik Murphy and Malcolm Thomas - a trio of non-guaranteed contracts - to Cleveland in exchange for guard Carrick Felix, a 2015 second-round draft pick and cash.

The move will give Cleveland more than $3 million in movable contracts to help facilitate a future deal, possibly one for the Minnesota forward.

Felix, 23, saw limited action in Cleveland after being drafted early in the second round last year, making just seven NBA appearances.

But the 6-foot-6 shooting guard has impressed with defense during stops at Southern Idaho and Arizona State. He also averaged 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds a game during his final year as a Sun Devil.

“He’s another young wing, but he’s a little different from what we’ve got,” Jazz General Manage Dennis Lindsey says. “He sees himself as a defender first. Anybody that can defend and move the ball and make the corner three, that’s a role we can envision we’ll have going forward. Certainly Carrick’s game defensively is where he hangs his hat.”

Felix’s guaranteed deal is worth about $800,000 this year. He has two non-guaranteed years on his deal after that.

According to Yahoo!, the Jazz will receive $1 million to offset the cost in addition to receiving a future second-round pick from Cleveland.

Lucas was brought on last year to help mentor point guard Trey Burke. When the rookie went down with a preseason finger injury, Lucas saw time as a starter. But the journeyman’s poor play eventually saw him fall out of the team’s regular rotation.

Murphy and Thomas, both power forwards, were late-season acquisitions for Utah. The two played for the Jazz’s summer league team last week in Las Vegas, but had no guarantees of making the final roster.