No. 10: Sam Merrill
One of the breakout players of this NBA season has been Sam Merrill, who has gone from riding the bench to riding the wave, spitting fire from the 3-point arc to the tune of 12.9 3-point attempts per 36 minutes on 43.5 percent shooting. Only two players in the league are shooting above 40 percent from deep on that kind of volume: Merrill and Stephen Curry, a mouthpiece-chewing shooter who plays out West.
In fact, broaden out the search, and the only players in the last 10 years to shoot better than 40 percent on this kind of volume are Curry and Merrill; Steph did it three times, and Merrill is there this year. Only 11 times has a player even shot 12 3-pointers per 36 minutes in that decade. What he is doing is special.
Factor in his extremely inexpensive contract this season and next, and there is absolutely no reason for the Cavs to move on from their find. Unless a team came after Merrill and valued him as a starter, the Cavs will keep him around and let him continue bombing away.
No. 9: Tristan Thompson
The veteran big man appears this early on the list not because he is untouchable; his ability to step into the rotation in Evan Mobley's absence and give the Cavaliers good minutes has been valuable, but if someone actually wanted Thompson and would provide assets for him, they would move on from their third-string center.
No one is going to do that, however, because Thompson is a limited player at a position flush with reserve options. He holds special value to the Cavs because of his veteran presence in the locker room and his history with the franchise. He'll still be around when the trade dominos fall.