In June, three rookie guards were added to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They joined three experienced veterans in the backcourt, with one new report indicating that the latter trio could all be gone by mid-season.
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com looked at various members of the Cavaliers roster with the team set to open its training camp this week. He indicated that the presence of the team’s top picks during the past two years, Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, and the looming contract statuses of those veterans could lead to a roster shakeup.
“The Cavs are loaded at guard. Behind Sexton and Garland are Jordan Clarkson, [Matthew] Dellavedova and [Brandon] Knight,” Fedor wrote. “All three are in the final year of their contracts. Some, if not all, could be traded by mid-season.”
The 27-year-old Clarkson is coming off the best season of his NBA career and is likely to be looking for a steep increase in pay from the $13.4 million he’ll be earning this season. Among the trio of potential free agents mentioned, he would presumably bring back the most in return for the Cavaliers.
Dellavedova turned 29 a few weeks ago and is set to make $9.6 million this season. Three years ago, the Cavaliers allowed him to walk, rather than pay him the money he ended up receiving in the free agent market. That scenario is likely to unfold once again, unless the Cavaliers can pick up a future asset for him before the trade deadline.
Knight will be making $15.6 million this season, the most among this trio. The 27-year-old’s current contract was signed prior to a devastating ACL injury in 2017 that short-circuited his career. However, for teams that will be looking to open up salary cap space for next year’s free agent period, he may be someone the Cavs can obtain another asset for prior to that February deadline.
Two players who definitely won’t be dealt by the Cavaliers are the 19-year-old Garland, who could be teamed with the team’s 2018 top pick, Sexton, in the starting backcourt. They’ll be joined by the other two 2019 Cavs first-rounders, Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter, Jr., though Windler is presently on the shelf for potentially six weeks because of an apparent left tibial stress reaction.