Dekker, 24, has been in the league for three years after playing for three years at Wisconsin. He was picked No. 18 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Rockets, but only played a handful of games due to a back injury and surgery. He averaged 6.5 points per game in his second year with the Rockets before being traded the Clippers prior to last season. In 73 games last year, Dekker averaged 4.2 points per game.
In the deal, Cleveland is also sending Los Angeles the draft rights to Vladimir Veremeenko, a 34-year-old Belarusian who will likely never play in the NBA. In return, the Cavs are also receiving the rights to Renaldas Seibutis, a 33-year-old Lithuanian who will likely never play in the NBA, and cash considerations. Cleveland is also using the trade exception it created in last summer’s Kyrie Irving trade to absorb Dekker’s $2.76 million salary for the 2017-18 season.
With the trade exception from the Irving trade used to get Dekker, the Cavs ended up with the following from that trade after other moves involving players acquired in the Irving trade and other assets: Dekker, Collin Sexton, Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, Ante Zizic, Rodney Hood and George Hill.
The Cavs are not giving up anything real to get Dekker, which is fair considering his production to date. The hope for Cleveland here is that they can develop a former first-round pick into a useful player. If it doesn’t work, Dekker will be a restricted free agent next summer and the Cavs could let him walk. If Dekker does blossom, they’ll have the inside track on keeping him.
Dekker has worn No. 7 for his entire NBA career, but that is retired for Bobby “Bingo” Smith in Cleveland. The No. 15 he wore at Wisconsin, however, is available.