NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers trim the fat off their roster ahead of Boston Celtics season opener

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson attempts a shot as Washington Wizards center Ian Mahinmi defends during the first half at Capital One Arena.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson attempts a shot as Washington Wizards center Ian Mahinmi defends during the first half at Capital One Arena.PHOTO: USA TODAY/BRAD MILLS

New York (AFP) - The Cleveland Cavaliers fine-tuned their roster on Saturday (Oct 15) ahead of the upcoming NBA (National Basketball Association) season, trading forward Richard Jefferson and guard Kay Felder to the Atlanta Hawks while releasing centre Kendrick Perkins and guard Isaac Hamilton.

The Hawks, who released Felder and Jefferson to save US$3.8 million (S$5.1 million) in combined salary, also received second-round picks in the 2019 and 2020 NBA Draft from the Cavaliers.

The Hawks sent the Cavaliers the draft rights to 22-year-old Greek forward Dimitrios Agravanis, who has played the past four years for Olympiacos of Greece, and Ukrainian guard Sergiy Gladyr, who has played the past two seasons for Monaco.

The Cavaliers also sent the Hawks US$3 million but will save US$12.8 million in luxury tax payments by making the deal, ESPN reported.

"These situations and decisions are some of the toughest to be in and have to make," said Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman.

"Certainly, both RJ and Kay are two guys we also wanted to have with us this season."

Jefferson, 37, averaged 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds last season in his 16th NBA campaign.

Felder, 22, averaged 4.0 points and 1.4 assists in his first NBA season.

Perkins, 32, helped the Boston Celtics win the 2008 NBA crown and played in three pre-season contests for the Cavs.

Hamilton had only been signed on Wednesday.

The Cavaliers open the NBA's 72nd season at home on Tuesday against the Celtics.