3 Cavaliers who have earned more playing time after stars return

Cleveland Cavaliers v Dallas Mavericks
Cleveland Cavaliers v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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Craig Porter, Jr. is the secret weapon Cleveland needed

Of any possible headline for the Cavaliers, finding the perfect backup point guard in an undrafted rookie that cannot reliably shoot from deep is one nobody would have expected.

Somehow, that is exactly what happened for the Cavs this season. When Ricky Rubio announced he would step away from basketball with no timetable for his return, the Cavaliers looked to newly-signed Ty Jerome as Darius Garland's backup. After appearing in only two games, Jerome has been on the injury report with no news of a coming return.

In lieu of the unpredictable luck, the Cavaliers have entrusted Craig Porter, Jr. to play heavy minutes and lead not only the bench unit, but the starting five now that Garland is out. Against the Mavs, Porter showcased his innate athleticism, grabbing 12 total rebounds and dishing out 7 assists alongside a stellar defensive night with 3 steals.

In the prior win against the Chicago Bulls, Porter had 19 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds. The Wichita State graduate has not only given the Cavs a spark when they need it, but he is consistently producing at a veteran level in his rookie campaign. His basketball IQ is undeniable when he is running an offense. Going around a screen, Porter has often used his speed to get in front of a defender and put them on his hip, leaving an open mid-range shot or pass in front of the crafty guard.

Currently, Porter is on a two-way deal, meaning he has a limited number of games he can play for the Cavs until he either needs a full contract for at least the rest of the season or will return to the Cleveland Charge. With an open roster spot available, the Cavaliers should have no choice but to ensure Porter can stay with the main roster for the foreseeable future.