Nuggets clear cap room

The Denver Nuggets have traded center Steven Hunter and a lottery protected 2010 first-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for a future second-round pick, the team announced Friday.

The Nuggets made the move to reduce their luxury tax penalty this season. The Nuggets are slated to be $6.7 million over the league's dollar-for-dollar tax threshold. Removing Hunter's $3.7 million dollar salary will save the team $7.4 million next year.

Once again the Grizzlies are taking advantage of their cap room to help out another team financially. Hunter did not play last season and played in just 19 games in 2007-08 season. So, Hunter isn't expected to be a major rotation player in Memphis. The Grizzlies did this deal for the Nuggets' first-round pick.

The 7-foot Hunter is a seven-year pro out of DePaul who played 19 games with Denver last season averaging 6.3 minutes and 2.3 points.

Chad Ford is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.