In what could be seen as a bit of a staredown between LeBron James and Dan Gilbert (if you're so inclined), the Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly decided to guarantee the contract of Jared Cunningham for the remainder of the season. Cunningham had a contracted that the Cavs could void, and in the process save themselves as much as $2.5 million in salary and luxury tax payouts. Instead, he will remain on the roster.
Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com had the news first.
Sources: #Cavs plan to guarantee contract of G Jared Cunningham to remain with team past today's 5 p.m. deadline https://t.co/qUfoDpkcKc— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 7, 2016
Cunningham has had a significant role this season due to injuries to Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert. With those two healthy, he's been a healthy reserve receiving DNP-CD's for the most part. Even so, he's become a favorite of LeBron James, being invited to extra shooting sessions, and giving his take on LeBron James' rap playlists before games. Cunningham has shown an ability to defend on ball, but has struggled shooting in all forms. He's athletic and relatively young.
In any case, this is an impressive move from owner Dan Gilbert. It's not cheap, but he's proven he's willing to spend in hopes of bringing a title to Cleveland. It's hard to see Cunningham being a positive gamechanger in the playoffs, but he works hard and plays hard. Who knows?