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Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

Utah Jazz: Jazz send 3 players to Cleveland as Cavs keep hoping to find Love

By Randy Hollis, Deseret News

Published: Tue, July 22 9:10 p.m. MDT

 Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton, top, and Cleveland Cavaliers' Carrick Felix watch a loose ball during the fourth quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 99-87. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton, top, and Cleveland Cavaliers' Carrick Felix watch a loose ball during the fourth quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 99-87. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(Tony Dejak, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

SALT LAKE CITY — If the Cleveland Cavaliers are able to land coveted big man Kevin Love this summer, they might owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz confirmed Tuesday evening they had traded three players with non-guaranteed contracts for the upcoming season — point guard John Lucas III and forwards Malcom Thomas and Erik Murphy — to the Cavaliers for guard/forward Carrick Felix, a 2015 second-round draft pick and cash considerations, reportedly $1 million.

"We've been looking for wing depth, and Carrick is a young player with a defensive mindset," Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said. "We've watched him at Arizona State and at Cleveland and in the D-League and feel like with his defensive mindset and toughness, he could be a good complement to our young group.

"If you can defend the athletic wings in this league and make an open shot and can move the ball, you have a chance to play for Quin Snyder and the Utah Jazz."

The deal, first announced by Yahoo Sports, will give Cleveland increased trade asset flexibility and more salary cap maneuverability in its bid to put together a blockbuster deal for Love, an All-Star power forward with one year remaining on his current contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Cavs have been trying to swing a deal for Love since signing free agent superstar LeBron James a couple of weeks ago.

Felix, a 6-foot-6 swingman out of Arizona State, averaged 2.7 points in seven games with Cleveland last season, his first in the NBA. He also appeared in nine games with the Canton Charge in the NBA Development League, averaging 11 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

He was taken in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft by the Cavs. Before that, he played three seasons at Arizona State, averaging 14.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks as a senior, when he was named to the All-Pac-12 second team and to the league's All-Defensive Team. He played his freshman year at the College of Southern Idaho.

Felix, who turns 24 next month, has one guaranteed year remaining on his contract.

Lucas, a 5-11 point guard, averaged 3.8 points and 1 assist in 42 games for the Jazz last season. Thomas, a 6-9 forward out of San Diego State, averaged 1.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in eight NBA games with Utah and San Antonio last season. The 6-10 Murphy was claimed off waivers on April 5 but did not appear in a game with the Jazz.

EMAIL: rhollis@desnews.com

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1. scalman
Temecula, CA,
July 22, 2014

I liked Thomas in the summer league games, but that's the way it goes. Felix can defend, he hustles, and supposedly he fits in a fast-moving offense. Sounds like a good player for Coach Snyder's bench. Let's see if the Jazz add a shooter now.

2. CJ Miles
Dallas, TX,
July 22, 2014

Are you kidding me? Felix is a nobody in the NBA. He brings NOTHING to the Jazz in terms of helping the team win basketball games. This is all about money and stupidity. The Jazz have done NOTHING in free agency or trades to improve the team. On top of that, they gave Hayward way too much money for his poor performance last year. I am still waiting for Lindsey to do something useful to improve this team. Using draft picks doesn't make him a genius. Being a genius, is bringing in quality free agents to help win more games. A first grader could have drafted Exum and Hood at #5 and #23. Trading players for second round picks is a waste too.

3. Tom in Tooele
Franklin, IN,
July 22, 2014

Great trade...

The Jazz needed a guard??!! Uuuhhhh

4. SaltyDog
Rexburg, ID,
July 22, 2014

@CJ

I'll have to disagree with you. You say Felix is a nobody like he's some scrub veteran player. He's only been in the league 1 year. And i feel that Lindsey has made a lot of good moves this offseason. Sure, a "3rd grader would've picked Exum at #5 and Hood at #23", but he still could've pulled a KoC and drafted other guys instead or trading down lower. Plus, a market like Utah has to overpay for free agents, because what big name would want to come here otherwise? They let the marker dictate the price and utah couldn't just an asset go for nothing. Hayward is good and will be in a much better system this coming season. Lindsey has made a lot of smart, but not flashy moves.

@Tom

of course they needed a guard. They have Exum and Burke (and kinda Clark, too...if his option is picked up) and then theres Burks and that's about it at the 2. Felix, i've read, is a big strong guard who is a good defender. Plus, no more JLIII!

5. panamadesnews
Lindon, UT,
July 22, 2014

The Jazz now have 2 or 3 roster spots they can fill during the year. They still need to spend some $'s to reach the NBA team player minimum, so they aren't through yet. I would like to see them bring in the PG from, I believe Brazil, who did well in last year's summer games. They typically carry 3 PG's on the roster, and he would be a good one for Snyder to develop.They could use Jeremy Evans for trade bait - he hasn't really developed like he should have - he is a PF in the body of a SF. I would like to see them pick up another center and move Enes Kanter to PF and pick up a big PF that has potential, maybe sign Jason Washburn or Brock Motum to NGC's for now and see what they can do - if either does not work out, then use him in a trade. That would give the jazz 14 players, but only 13 with GC's. It will be interesting to see who the Jazz end up with when the season starts.