In a season where trial and error has become a main theme for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team has once again taken a chance to see where that gets them.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly signing forward Deng Adel to a two-way NBA contract, according to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic. In a corresponding move, the Cavs will have reportedly waived Jalen Jones today, per Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor. Fedor noted how Jones “did nothing wrong,” but he only had “34 days that he could spend with the Cavaliers and those were almost up.”
The NBA gives two-way players up to 45 days with their respective teams (but that is pro-rated based on the date of the signing), and today marks the deadline, per Fedor, of when NBA teams can still sign players to two-way contracts. Cleveland has been in the business of bringing in players that may have some potential and giving them a run with the squad. In Adel’s case, he’ll try to show what he can do in his time with the Cavs, which, per Fedor, is 22 days, “based on the timing of Adel’s deal.”
In the past, the Cavaliers have signed forward Patrick McCaw and guard Cameron Payne. McCaw’s stint with Cleveland was short-lived, though very controversial. Payne’s still in the midst of his ten-day contract and has been serviceable up to this point.
But what’s there to know about Adel that you may not know? Let’s take a look and see.
He was the 32nd-ranked recruit coming out of high school in 2015
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In a recruiting class that featured Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram, and Jaylen Brown, Deng Adel was within the top thirty-five recruits that would be college-bound in 2016. Adel was ranked as the 32nd-best prospect heading into the NCAA.
Adel was one of just three recruits in the ESPN Top 97 that committed to Louisville, joining Donovan Mitchell and Raymond Spalding. While Mitchell has found a ton of success already at the NBA-level, Adel and Spalding are still trying to find their footing.
Adel was also the fourth-best Florida prospect to join the college ranks in 2015.
Now to his college days.
He started two of his three seasons at Louisville
Adel played the small forward position for three seasons at Louisville, receiving some tutelage from since-exiled Cardinals coach Rick Pitino. Deng didn’t play much his freshman campaign, averaging just 12.6 minutes in 22 games with only eight of those being starts.
By his sophomore season, Adel became a regular among the starting five for the Cardinals.
In the final 67 games that Adel played in for Louisville, he started 63 of those available contests. Those two seasons saw him average a combined 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 31.6 minutes nightly. His sophomore season saw him finish top-three in scoring on the team while he led the Cardinals in buckets his junior season (all per Sports Reference).
Adel wasn’t shy about diversifying his game, taking about four perimeter shots per game in both of his final two campaigns.
His next step came as a member of the Toronto Raptors organization.
He was a member of the Raptors’ G-League team to begin the season
Despite leading the Louisville Cardinals in his final season at college, Deng never ended up hearing his name called at the 2018 NBA Draft. The Australian forward went undrafted and was unable to head back for his senior season due to hiring an agent for the draft process.
As a result, Adel wound up signing with the Toronto Raptors on an Exhibit 10 deal on September 13th, 2018 (per Charania). But Adel never made it to the regular season with Toronto, being waived exactly a month after.
Nonetheless, with the Raptors G League affiliate, the Raptors 905, he averaged 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in 25 appearances, according to Basketball References’ G League statistics.
Now with the worst team in the NBA, it’s quite possible that Adel sees some big-time minutes and makes the most of his audition.