Jared Cunningham has been one of the biggest surprises of the Cavs season. Brought in as a camp body, the former first round draft choice grabbed a roster spot. Given that Cleveland is so far into the luxury tax, many felt that the Cavs would carry an empty space on the bench in order to save a little bit of money. Cunningham not only secured a place on the team, but has actually played 316 minutes as the team navigated the waters without Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert. Mo Williams and Matthew Dellavedova dealt with bumps and bruises as well.
With the Cavs healthy, playing time has been hard to come by for Cunningham. Each paycheck the Cavs cut pushes them a bit higher into the luxury tax, and there's only one salary on the team that isn't guaranteed through the season: Cunningham's.
Some clarity on the Jan. 10 guarantee date. Since it takes 48 hrs for a player to clear waivers, teams must waive a player by 5pm Jan.7.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) January 5, 2016
In other words, the Cavs will let Cunningham know by 5:00 pm on Thursday whether or not he has a guaranteed spot on the team for the rest of the season. Given the luxury tax situation of the team, keeping Cunningham on the roster could be a $2.5 million commitment. One thing you might see the Cavs do is attempt to trade Joe Harris, who has had a tough time seeing the court, for future draft considerations in hopes of saving money and making Cunningham's deal a bit easier to swallow.
It's worth noting that LeBron James has taken a real liking to Cunningham, and of course he has considerable pull within the organization. Cunningham's shooting percentages (35/35/60) are not great, but he works hard and can defend a little bit. It's an interesting call.