The Cleveland Cavaliers have used the trade market to acquire a backup center.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavs are acquiring center Damian Jones from the Utah Jazz. Cleveland is simply taking in Jones’ nearly $2.6 million salary for next season. It is the last year of his contract.
The Jazz are trading center Damian Jones to the Cavaliers, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2023
Jones, 28, has been in the league since 2016, when he was a late first round pick by the Golden State Warriors. He won two titles with the Warriors and has also played for the Jazz, the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers. With the Lakers and Jazz last season, he appeared in in 41 games, averaging 3.5 and 3 rebounds per game.
Jones will be a different kind of backup center than Robin Lopez was. Lopez is a more ground bound player, whereas Jones is more athletic and a lob threat in the pick-and-roll on offense. On defense, he has a solid track record of blocking shots, albeit with a higher foul rate compared to Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. For someone who is likely to play bit minutes based on foul trouble or injuries to Allen or Mobley, he’s a solid option.
This move would also suggest that, as has been reported as an option, Isaiah Mobley seems likely to be brought back on a two-way deal instead of being brought in as the main backup roster. It would also suggest that Lopez won’t be back next season either.