CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded center Brendan Haywood and forward Mike Miller to the Portland Trail Blazers to create salary-cap room and save luxury-tax money.
The Cavs have been shopping Haywood’s expiring $10.5 million contract for weeks and worked out a deal with the Blazers, who will also get two second-round picks from Cleveland. Both teams confirmed the trade on Monday.
The Blazers are expected to cut Haywood, who barely played for Cleveland last season. Miller was signed last summer, bringing playoff experience and 3-point shooting to the Cavs, but he was hardly used in the playoffs.
Haywood, a 13-year NBA veteran, has averaged 6.8 points and six rebounds during stints with Charlotte, Washington, Dallas and Cleveland.
It is believed that Portland will waive Haywood before his contract becomes guaranteed on Saturday.
A Greensboro native, Haywood played his college ball at North Carolina. During his time with the Tar Heels, the big man became the their all-time leader in blocked shots (304) and helped lead the team to a Final Four appearance in the 2000 NCAA Tournament.
During his senior year, Haywood was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference second team, and was also named a second team All-American by the Sporting News.
Miller, a 15-year veteran, has averaged 11.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists with stops in Orlando, Memphis, Minnesota, Washington, Miami and Cleveland.
The moves will allow the Cavs to create trade exceptions for $10.5 million and $2.85 million to sign players.
The Blazers were able to absorb the contracts of both players because the team is under the salary cap.
Miller, whose $2.8 million salary next season is guaranteed, will reportedly seek a buyout and become a free agent.
Miller played in college the same years as Haywood, attending the University of Florida to play under Billy Donovan. As a sophomore, Miller’s Gators beat the Tar Heels to advance to the 2000 NCAA Championship game, before losing to Michigan State in the final.