With the NBA’s transaction window closing on Tuesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been productive filling their two remaining roster spots. In a move that was unsurprising to many, Cleveland converted two-way rookie Dean Wade’s contract to a guaranteed multi-year deal, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The move that surprised many, though, was the Cavaliers signing big man Jordan Bell to a two-year deal, per league sources. The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported the contract.
Since Bell was waived after March 1, Cleveland was one of the only eight teams able to sign Bell. The terms and guarantees of the contract have not been disclosed at this time. Bell, who spent the 2019-20 season floating between the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Capital City Go-Go, has averaged 3.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.3 blocks in 8.8 minutes per game. In his one appearance in G-League play, Bell scored 14 points on 78% shooting to go with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.
In acquiring Bell long-term, the Cavs are able to shore up their big man rotation heading into next season. With Tristan Thompson and Ante Zizic likely both gone, they now have a dire need for depth behind Andre Drummond for the 2020-21 campaign. Bell provides exactly that, and can hopefully showcase his abilities to the Cavs and their fans if the team does resume play at some point this summer.
All in all, signing Bell is smart for Cleveland that addresses a position of need and also acquires a player that fits into the team’s timeline. But, it all remains on Bell if he were to stick with Cleveland beyond this season and next. His deal is likely similar to Alfonzo McKinnie’s, where it will be guaranteed through the remainder of the 2019-20 season. Then, Bell can be a part of Cleveland’s roster heading into training camp in the fall and if he makes a lasting impression then he will be here for the 2020-21 season. If not, the Cavs have an easy out of Bell’s contract. His contract isn’t so big that it pushes Cleveland over the luxury tax line.