Milwaukee Bucks Acquire Matthew Dellavedova Via Sign And Trade

Jun 13, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova (8) with head coach Tyronn Lue in the third quarter in game five of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova (8) with head coach Tyronn Lue in the third quarter in game five of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks have officially got their man as Matthew Dellavedova completed his move to the team via a sign and trade deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The NBA’s free agency moratorium passed at midnight on Thursday, and for the Milwaukee Bucks that led to the expectation that the Cleveland Cavaliers would have three days to match the offer sheet Matthew Dellavedova had agreed to with the Bucks.

Dellavedova agreed to a four-year, $38.4 million contract with the Bucks when free agency opened on July 1, and in the time since it had been widely reported that Cleveland would not match.

Still, both teams took all of that suspense out of the deal with an interesting transaction on Thursday afternoon.

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Rather than signing straight out as a free agent, Dellavedova instead joins the Milwaukee Bucks by virtue of a sign-and-trade deal.

This creates a $4.8 million trade exception that is a valuable resource to the Cleveland Cavaliers considering their salary cap balancing act, and in exchange the Milwaukee Bucks received cash considerations.

The Bucks also sent the rights to international player Albert Miralles to Cleveland.

On the surface, it may not be too easy for most fans to decipher the reasoning behind this type of deal, as it wasn’t necessarily completed for the most traditional of sign-and-trade purposes.

Generally, teams turn to sign-and-trade when they want to be able to offer a player more money or years (something which the player’s Bird Rights holders will generally have the option of doing) than they would be allowed to in the free agent market. In this case, Dellavedova’s contract and salary will remain as it was when reported last week though.

Larry Coon’s invaluable CBA FAQ gives a very clear definition of that type of deal, but doesn’t necessarily explain the motivation for it for either team in this case:

"Teams benefit because they can get something in return for players they would otherwise lose to free agency. For players the benefits are limited. Under previous CBAs a player who qualified could receive a full Bird contract and go to the team of his choice, which encouraged the player to seek a sign-and-trade once he decided to play elsewhere. Under the current CBA a player receives the same contract via sign-and-trade (four years, 4.5% raises) that he could get by signing with his new team directly, and can receive a larger Bird contract only if he stays with his previous team. In addition, it is much simpler for the player to sign directly with his new team, as a sign-and-trade has to be agreed to by three parties rather than two. A player is really only forced to seek a sign-and-trade if he wants to go to a team that is capped-out (or doesn’t have enough cap room to give the player his full starting salary) and can’t sign him directly.Another factor encouraging a player not to seek a sign-and-trade is that his new team might be weakened by losing players or draft picks in the trade. So while a sign-and-trade is a useful tool when the team does not have the cap room to sign the player directly, the player and his new team have little reason to seek a sign-and-trade when the player can be signed without involving his previous team."

In reality, there’s very little complication in why both Milwaukee and Cleveland chose to execute the deal though. The Cavaliers saw the opportunity to pick up another trade exception, just like the one they used to absorb Mike Dunleavy Jr’s contract on Wednesday night, and in return the Bucks were compensated financially for acting as facilitators.

For the Bucks this gets the Dellavedova deal tied up quickly and allows them to move on with the rest of their offseason roster construction, although there is one caveat.

"Starting in 2013-14 if a team acquires a player in a sign-and-trade, the apron — the point $4 million above the tax line — effectively becomes a hard cap for the remainder of that season."

The Bucks are now hard capped for the remainder of the season and unable to go more than $4 million above the tax line under any circumstances.

As explained in the CBA FAQ, once again:

"If a team is hard-capped, it cannot exceed the apron under any circumstance. If the team subsequently needs to sign a player (for example, to replace injured players) it must first create room under the apron by waiving player(s) with non-guaranteed salary, waiving player(s) with guaranteed salary and utilizing the stretch provision, trading downward in salary, etc. A team that is hard-capped can sign players to non-guaranteed contracts for training camp or the regular season, but must rid themselves of such players before their salary would take the team above the apron. A team subject to the hard cap can also sign players to Rest-of-Season contracts during the season, as long as the salary pro-ration keeps the team below the apron."

This isn’t necessarily damaging to the Bucks, but it’s something they will need to be mindful of moving forward.

Next: Milwaukee Bucks: The Cleveland Perspective on Matthew Dellavedova

Either way, the Bucks will be delighted to have gotten their man. Although it may not have transpired exactly as we expected it to, Matthew Dellavedova is officially a Buck.