Since the 2019 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been relatively quiet when it comes to roster additions. That trend changed at the onset of the month of August.
On Thursday, it was announced that the Cavs signed former Duke University center Marques Bolden to an Exhibit 10 training camp deal.
Bolden, a 6-foot-11 former McDonald’s All-American was not selected in the most recent draft, but did play for the Cavs in last month’s Summer League. In those contests, he averaged 6.8 points and 4.0 rebounds.
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com explained the nuances of an Exhibit 10 deal:
“An Exhibit 10 contract is a one-year, minimum-salary deal. The contract doesn’t come with any compensation protection, but can include an optional bonus ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. It includes an Exhibit 10 attachment, which can be converted to a regular-season contract or a two-way deal. The other options are releasing the player or sending him to the G League affiliate, which in this case would be Canton.
“The Exhibit 10 bonus serves as an incentive for players to stick with the organization’s G League affiliate, as they must spend at least 60 days with the G League team in order to get the bonus.”
The contract doesn’t count against the Cavaliers’ salary cap. At present, they are $2.8 million below the cap, with 13 players under contract, two below the maximum number allowed. In addition, the Cavs also have an open two-way contract.
Bolden put up modest numbers both in Summer League action and at Duke. Fedor wrote that new head coach John Beilein believes that the presence of so much talent at Duke restricted further development.
Cavs assistant coach Antonio Lang explained why Bolden has the potential to develop into an NBA asset:
“Because he’s a hard roller, he’s a rim protector, he has good hands and he can guard on the floor in switch situations. In college you don’t have space. Here you have space and he can create space if he continues to roll hard. Everything you look for in a big he has, he just has to be more efficient with his footwork and learn the game more. That comes with practice and time. He’s more suited for the NBA game.”
Making any final decision on Bolden’s future in the organization would have to take place before the Cavaliers open the regular season, though it could conceivably come much sooner.