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With signing of Jarrett Jack, Cavaliers roster beginning to take shape

By Jason Lloyd Published: July 6, 2013
Jack celebrates
Jarrett Jack will bring fire to the court and leadership to the locker room. He also fills two spots on the roster as both a backup point guard and shooting guard.

The signing of free agent guard Jarrett Jack went a long way in clearing up some questions about the Cavaliers' roster (so long, Shaun Livingston and Wayne Ellington). With the start of training camp still three months away, the framework of the 15-man roster is taking shape.

Barring a trade, the Cavaliers likely have 12 or 13 players under contract who will be on the team when the season begins. Of course, the Cavs are still in the market for a big man through either trade or free agency, and a few players (C.J. Miles and Kevin Jones specifically) have non-guaranteed contracts, so all of this is subject to change. 

 

The core four

Player                      2013-14 salary       Under team control through...

Kyrie Irving                    $5.6 million          2015-16

Tristan Thompson      $4 million             2015-16

Dion Waiters                $3.9 million          2016-17

Anthony Bennett          $5.3 million*         2017-18

 

Key supplemental pieces

Player                      2013-14 salary       Under team control through...

Anderson Varejao     $9 million             2014-15

Tyler Zeller                 $1.6 million           2016-17

Jarrett Jack                $6.3 million          2016-17

Earl Clark                   $4.5 million           2014-15

Sergey Karasev        $1.5 million*      2017-18

 

Useful, not necessary

Player                      2013-14 salary       Under team control through...

Alonzo Gee                 $3.3 million             2014-15

C.J. Miles                    $2.2 million***        2013-14

 

Roster filler

Player                      2013-14 salary       Under team control through...

Kevin Jones               $789,000***           2014-15

Carrick Felix               $473,000**               2014-15

 

Not expected back

Player                      2013-14 salary       Under team control through...

Chris Quinn                 $1.1 million***            2013-14

 

* - Rookie contract not yet signed. Figure reached using 120 percent of rookie scale

** - Second-round pick. Figure reached using salary from last year’s draft slot

*** - Non-guaranteed contract

**** - Guys like Jones, Felix and perhaps Karasev are likely to spend time in the Development League this year.

***** - I need to come up with a new system besides all these asterisks.

 

The yet-to-be-acquired big would push the roster to 14, leaving one open spot for a developmental guy, a third point guard … or both. Someone like Matthew Dellavedova, the undrafted rookie point guard out of St. Mary’s^ who will go to summer league with the Cavs, or perhaps a veteran shooter like Daniel Gibson, who loves this city, would like to return and can provide a much-needed skill (3-point shooting) in a (extremely) limited capacity.

Of course, a trade involving one of the above players could shake up everything.

What’s clear at this point is the Cavs significantly upgraded their backup point guard position. Shaun Livingston did an admirable job filling in for Irving last season, but Jack is arguably the best backup point guard in the league – although Darren Collison will make a strong case now that he is again a backup with the Los Angeles Clippers. The fact Jack can play big minutes at shooting guard alongside Irving (when Waiters is resting) means the Cavs filled two backup slots with one durable veteran.^^

The Cavs have roughly $12-15 million in cap space left for next season, but that’s an arbitrary figure because of the non-guaranteed contracts. Miles and/or Jones can be cut instantly to clear salary cap space for a bigger deal.

Regardless, the Cavs are starting to fill a legitimate NBA roster, at least in spots 1-12. After three years of dancing to the D-League shuffle, that’s a welcomed change.

^ - The odds of Dellavedova breaking camp on the 15-man roster are slim, it’s just an example. But I could see him beginning the season on the Canton Charge roster as an NBA free agent. Maybe someone like Kenny Kadji, another summer league invite, would have a better chance at cracking the 15-man roster. Anyway, you get the idea. I'd still lean toward another veteran shooter filling out the roster, not another undrafted rookie. 

^^ - Jack has played at least 79 games in all but one of his eight NBA seasons. One year, when he was traded, he even played in 83 games in the regular season. Now that’s a man. He should’ve asked for a one-game pay raise.

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