Stock up, stock down for Cavaliers players in Summer League

Isaiah Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Isaiah Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Sam Merrill, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images /

Sam Merrill – Stock: Up

Summer League stat line: 5 games, 27.9 minutes, 20.4 points, 4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.4 steals

The Cleveland Cavaliers worked hard this summer to improve their shooting, and rightfully so. They were overwhelmed in the playoffs in large part because the New York Knicks were confident packing the paint, not fearing the shooting of the Cavs’ role players. They dropped a lot of money on the likes of Max Strus and Gerges Niang.

It would therefore be quite amusing if their best movement shooter next season turned out to be the player they already had on the roster, one Sam Merrill out of Utah State. After signing a rest-of-season contract last year, Merrill is on a non-guaranteed deal for this season and seemed like a viable cut candidate if the Cavs found enough free agents they liked on the open market.

Merrill probably won’t get cut now, not after averaging 20.4 points per game and knocking down 25 3-pointers in five games, tying the Summer League record. He was dynamic in the championship game, scoring 27 points, hitting six triples and finishing a game-high +25.

The Cavs’ entire offense was built around Merrill’s shooting, and it worked; his off-ball movement and two-man game with Isaiah Mobley had defenses scrambling, and it opened up plenty of space inside for the Cavs to go to work. He has a very real chance of earning rotation minutes as the Max Strus understudy this season.