As of now, the Cleveland Cavaliers have 13 players on their roster, excluding two-way players. After the Cavs acquired Max Strus, Georges Niang, Damian Jones, and Ty Jerome in free agency and through trades, there are two player spots left until the max of 15 players is hit.
13 players is the minimum for amount of players per NBA team, but 14 is around the average for each team. Last year, the Cavs had 15 players on the roster, but only had 14 for most of the year until they signed Danny Green and eventually, Sam Merrill. With that in mind, chances are, the Cavaliers will sign one more player to the roster to get to 14 players.
There are still plenty of free agents left out on the market. However, the Cavaliers do not really have a ton of cap space to use, so a veteran minimum would all but likely be the contract handed out if the Cavs wanted to get another player. Cleveland could also sign a player from their Summer League team to a standard contract if the front office likes what they see from the player.
The Cavaliers’ Summer League roster is full of talent. Free agency also has plenty of solid veterans that could be signed, as well. Chances are, whoever this player would be will not really get a ton of playing time. Even with that being the case, if injuries do happen, or the player exceeds expectations, then maybe they’ll get solid playing time. With that being said, here are a few players that could earn the 14th spot on the Cavs roster.
No. 1: Sharife Cooper
Coming into the 2021 NBA Draft, plenty were high on Sharife Cooper. In his lone season at Auburn, he averaged 20.2 points, 8.1 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. He seemed to have a good chance to go in the first round, but ultimately fell to the 48th pick and went to the Atlanta Hawks.
One thing that could have played into that draft fall was his shooting. He shot 39.1 percent from the field and 22.8 percent from distance. Adding that up with his 6-foot-1 frame didn’t sound appealing to many NBA teams, which made him slide in the draft. Yes, that’s fair, but his scoring abilities and great playmaking should’ve been able to get him into the first round still.
As of now, he is on the Cleveland Charge roster, and is playing in the Summer League. He is only 22 years old, so he does have plenty of room to grow. Looking at his G-League stats, he averaged 21.3 points, 6.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. However his 4.0 turnovers per game combined with his 31.6 percent from the three-point line was not spectacular.
Objectively, though, him being a backup point guard would benefit Cooper and the Cavaliers as well. If he does play tremendously in the Summer League, one shouldn’t be surprised to see him earn a standard contract.