The Cleveland Cavaliers had one more cut to get in today to reach 15 players, the league limit. Out will go Dahntay Jones, who had an important Finals cameo in the spring and has a rapport with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. DeAndre Liggins, who had a small guarantee in his deal, is the primary beneficiary and will stick with the team for now.
The Cavs announced the move this afternoon after Chris Haynes of ESPN.com initially reported it.
Jones was my preference to make the team. He is a veteran who has spent a lot of time with the guys and has their respect. He doesn’t have the upside that Liggins does, and isn’t likely to have the same defensive impact at this point. Here is part of what Justin wrote about Liggins recently:
Liggins is a two-time D League Defensive Player of the Year and last played in the NBA during the 2013-2014 season with the Miami Heat for a single game. Liggins is 6’6 and is currently signed to a 2-year, partially guaranteed deal with the Cavs. Liggins and the Sioux Falls Skyforce have eliminated the Canton Charge the last three years in the D League playoffs and won a championship in the 2016 season. Cav.com recently did a feature on Liggins as a Charge-killer.
The piece also mentions that Liggins has a bit of potential to back up Kyrie Irving in stretches, though that might just end up being LeBron James’ job. The 28 year old swingman doesn’t have a ton of upside at this point, but he’s also old enough not to get lost. Time will tell what kind of role he jumps into.