The Cavaliers have just 11 players with guaranteed salaries, but their roster could fill up in a hurry.
Cleveland has Bird rights for Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith, and draft rights for Sasha Kaun.
Just in case, the Cavs are bringing in other options. Jared Cunningham signed what appears to be a non- or partially guaranteed deal, and I’m guessing Quinn Cook is getting similar.
Brandy L. Simms of the Sentinel:
Thompson will almost certainly return. Whether it’s on long-term deal, matched offer sheet or qualifying offer, it’s difficult to see him playing for another team next season.
Smith isn’t getting the offers he wants, but it’s unlikely someone bests Cleveland’s offer. Plus, the Cavaliers offer him the best chance to impress before he next hits free agency.
Kaun is a tossup. The Cavs could use another center, but he might wait until they can offer more money.
Cleveland also has the Brendan Haywood trade exception, which it could use to add a player. The Clippers’ Jamal Crawford is reportedly a possibility.
So, I wouldn’t count on Cook lasting to the regular season.
But he could potentially help an NBA team. Cook, who went undrafted out of Duke, is a steady point guard. He shoots well from outside and avoids mistakes. He has limited upside, but that’s the profile of a successful backup point guard.
I’m not sure there’s a place in Cleveland for him, though. The Cavaliers already have Kyrie Irving, Mo Williams and Matthew Dellavedova at point guard. If the roster fills as expected, a fourth point guard would be an unnecessary luxury.
But just in case it doesn’t – especially if Cleveland doesn’t re-sign Smith – Cook could fill a role at point guard with Williams playing more off the ball.