The Cavaliers offer a dream scenario for fringe NBA players.
Not only is Cleveland the defending champion and still capable of a long playoff run that boosts perception of everyone in the organization, no team has more clear regular-season roster vacancies.*
The Cavs have just 12 players – three fewer than the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. J.R. Smith is expected to raise that to 13, but Mo Williams‘ potential retirement could drop it back down.
*The Wizards also have just 12 players with guaranteed salaries.
Jordan McRae and DeAndre Liggins are already signed to deals that aren’t fully guaranteed. Now, it seems power forward Cory Jefferson will also compete for the final two or three roster spots in Cleveland.
former Baylor power forward Cory Jefferson will likely attend training camp as a non-guaranteed invitee, a source said.
After being picked No. 60 in 2014, Jefferson played for the Nets in 2014-15 and the Suns last year. Phoenix waived him before guaranteeing his contract, and he went to the D-League – which signals the Cavaliers’ intentions.
Because Jefferson’s D-League rights are already held by the Bakersfield Jam, the Cavs can’t take advantage of a rule that allows them assign the D-League rights of certain players waived in the preseason to their affiliate. Jefferson will be in camp to earn a roster in Cleveland, not Canton.
In addition to clarifying his standing here, Jefferson used his time in the D-League to refine his offense. An improved jumper gives him a chance of sticking as a stretch four.