The Cavaliers added more depth to the center position with the signing of undrafted free agent center Michael Eric, who played in 101 games (68 starts) while playing at Temple University. Eric played on the Cavaliers Summer League squad, averaging 4.0 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 66.7 percent from the field. The Cavaliers signed the former Owl to a three-year partially guaranteed contract.
In his career at Temple, Eric, 24, averaged 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while shooting at a 50.3 percent clip. Although he fractured his right patella and missed 13 games his senior season, he still managed to be effective in the 19 games (15 starts) that he played in. The Nigerian native averaged 9.0 points, 8.8 rebounds (led the team) and 2.1 blocks in 25.1 minutes while shooting 52.1 percent from the field. He averaged 7.8 shots.
It has been said that the knee injury that Eric suffered was the reason why he went undrafted.
The Cavaliers now have multiple options at big man. They could go tall with the recently-signed Eric, Tyler Zeller or Anderson Varejao or go physical with Jon Leuer, Samardo Samuels or Tristan Thompson. I would expect the Cavaliers to go big and let the latter three beat opponents up at the four.
Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott even compared Eric’s defensive abilities to those of Serge Ibaka’s, the shot-blocking machine from Oklahoma City:
He has to look at himself as Ibaka, a guy that came in who was raw, but defensively was a great help defender and a great one-on-one defender, then your offensive game kind of comes. That’s how Ibaka has developed and I think he [Eric] has the same type of potential.
We will just have to wait and see if Eric has that much potential. In the meantime, check frequently on Right Down Euclid to see how much the contract Eric signed with the Cavaliers is worth.
Do you think Eric will make an impact or he will just float around the D-League this season?