Andrew Bogut is set to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and with the Cavs roster full at 15 players, that meant a player had to be let go to make room for Bogut, and Jordan McRae happened to be the player that was cut.
A team source tells ESPN the Cavs will waive Jordan McRae to create a roster spot to sign Andrew Bogut. He will not be w/ CLE for BOS game— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 1, 2017
This is undoubtedly a bummer for McRae, who likely thought his spot on the roster was safe after the Cavaliers opened up two roster spots by sending out Mo Williams and Mike Dunleavy for Kyle Korver and then trading Chris Andersen into space and then getting his full-year’s salary guaranteed at about the midpoint of the season.
Alas, it was hard to predict that Derrick Williams, who is in the middle of his second 10-day contract with the team, would have fit in so well and exceeded expectations with Deron Williams and Bogut hitting the buyout market.
Basically, this is just a tough break for McRae, but the cost of doing business. McRae didn’t have much of a role on this team. He’s not a great spot-up shooter or defender, and his ability to create his own shot is not exactly in high demand for a team with this much talent.
The Cavaliers choice was reportedly between McRae and Liggins, and it makes sense that Liggins was the one who stayed. Liggins is a limited offensive player, but he’s been part of some successful Cavaliers lineups and can play good defense in spurts.
An interesting subset to the decision to cut McRae was that Kyrie Irving was reportedly consulted on the decision.
Source tells ESPN that Kyrie Irving, seen here at the parade w/ Jordan McRae, was consulted about the move before J-Mac was waived pic.twitter.com/1wp9AjpE8Q— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 1, 2017
This is a subtle but smart move from the front office. This Cavaliers team has famously good chemistry (wild to say that after the first 40 games of LeBron’s return) and McRae was clearly very well liked in the locker room and Irving seemed to be close with him. It also speaks to Kyrie’s place in the organization and general growth as a leader that the FO thought he needed to be consulted before the move.
Finally, McRae posted this wonderful Instagram post thanking Cleveland. Even though his role was small, he’ll be in Cleveland history for being part of the first championship roster in a long time.
All smiles here not a bad thing to say about any player or anybody that has anything to do with this organization. I'm proud to say I am apart of Clevelands first ever nba championship. The memories I will take with me for the rest of my life. Best of luck to this great group of guys, brothers for life love you guys. Thanks Cleveland