clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cavaliers Summer League: Roster invitees facing a difficult reality

The Cavs roster is stocked full of hopefuls, but almost bereft of opportunity.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It's easy to get carried away watching Summer League action. To watch Kiefer Sykes barking instructions and advice from the bench almost constantly and think "Maybe". Too see Jon Shurna sink yet another three point shot and imagine what the overseas pro could do with the mountains of space afforded those who play alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. To watch Jerrelle Benimon and Talib Zanna rebound the ball with abandon and think that they can provide that at the NBA level.

The unfortunate reality for them --and the majority of the Cavs' Summer Leaguers-- is that there is just no space for them to fit into on the roster. At the present moment, the Cavs have 10 guaranteed contracts on the books for next season in LeBron James, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Mo Williams, Joe Harris, Timofey Mozgov, Mike Miller, Anderson Varejao, and Iman Shumpert. That number includes Tristan Thompson, as with his qualifying offer extended it is considered a foregone conclusion that he will be a part of the team next season. That does NOT include Brendan Haywood, who will be cut or traded by August before his contract becomes guaranteed. That leaves precious little space on a team that still has decisions to make on guys like Matthew Dellavedova, J.R. Smith, and potentially James Jones.

Aside from Harris, the Summer Roster includes what will most likely be one more guaranteed deal in Rakeem Christmas, potentially two if Sir'Dominic Pointer gets a guarantee of any kind. Expecting the Cavs to cut a guaranteed contract or pass up someone they drafted for players that either have been available as free agents for a while or they declined to take with any of their three picks is not really realistic. It's happened before, it may happen this year, but it would be incredibly surprising. Through three games, there isn't anyone exactly lighting it up, anyway.

There are several Summer Cavs that have taken steps to making a team, but unfortunately it probably won't be THIS team. That's what Summer League is though, a trade show more than anything else. Every bit of good play helps land you a bigger gig somewhere. Even if that somewhere is Canton.

Hey, it beats this desert, right?