According to a tweet from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Cleveland Cavaliers have signed former Atlanta Hawks guard Sharife Cooper to a training camp deal.
Cooper, who was selected in the second round by Atlanta in 2021, last played in the NBA for the Hawks during Las Vegas Summer League a few months ago. In 13 appearances last season, Cooper averaged 0.5 points on 21.4% shooting along with 0.4 rebounds and 0.4 assists. Where Cooper did the majority of his damage was with the College Park Skyhawks, the NBA G League affiliate of the Hawks. In 11 G League appearances, Cooper averaged 19.2 points on 45% shooting along with 3.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 29.9 minutes per game.
Cooper, in a tweet, seemingly has confirmed the news:
let's work #cavs https://t.co/VUW77T0hsJ— Sharife Cooper (@SharifeCooper) September 19, 2022
The potential is there for Cooper to be a serviceable guard in the NBA considering he was a former five-star recruit coming out of high school. But, the abysmal shooting numbers in the NBA and during this year’s Summer League (18.9% from the floor, 18.2% from three) led to his time with the Hawks coming to an end. But, again, the potential is there. With Cooper signed to a training camp deal, he’s on a fast track to joining the Cleveland Charge and can continue developing as a point guard until Mike Gerrity. If he does, he could slot in as a high-upside third guard off the bench for the Cavaliers long-term. This feels like a play for the 2023 season where, if he pans put, he could be the third-string guard. It also is a younger option than Brandon Goodwin, who Cleveland had in that role last year before he was pressed into service due to injuries.