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Cleveland Cavaliers sign Justin Powell to a contract

Powell went undrafted in June and spent Summer League with the Miami Heat.

2023 NBA Las Vegas Summer League - Miami Heat v Denver Nuggets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers, per Hoops Hype’s Michael Scotto, have signed Justin Powell to a contract.

The terms of the deal have not been reported. But, by considering the Cavs’ roster situation, it’s likely this is a training camp deal. After signing Tristan Thompson, Cleveland only has one roster spot open and little wiggle room under the luxury tax line. Going over that to sign Powell, an undrafted wing who spent Summer League with the Miami Heat, wouldn’t make sense.

This seems like a move to get Powell into the organization and get him on the Cleveland Charge to play in the G League next season. It would make sense that he’s on an Exhibit 10 deal, meaning he’ll get a bonus if/when he’s waived before the regular season and then ends up with the Charge and spends 60 days with the team. There were reports he had signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Heat, but those reports before to have been wrong.

Powell, 22, is a 6’6” swing who played for Auburn as a freshman, Tennessee as a sophomore and then Washing State as a junior. He started every game last season for the Cougars, averaging 10.4 points and finishing with shooting splits of 408/.379/.811. He was ESPN’s 21st ranked undrafted prospect in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Here’s some Washington State highlights. There are some fun reads in the pick-and-roll there.

Bringing someone like Powell in makes sense for the Cavs’ long term needs. Will he work out and become a rotation piece in a year or two? Probably not, but who knows. He has good size at 6’6” and shoots three-pointers at a decent percentage and clip. This is the kind of player worth a flier on and trying to develop in a team’s G League program.