After the conclusion of Cavs’ Summer League play Friday night, most of the players spending time with the Cavaliers will head far away from Cleveland and will use this week of action as another chance to leave an impression on the organization, scouts of other NBA teams and possibly even audition for international teams where they can go on to make more money than they would in the G League.
Brandon Paul was Cleveland’s best player for the first three games and earned a two-way contract with the San Antonio Spurs. He might not see NBA action, but the Spurs will have him on standby in the G League and can have him on the NBA roster for up to 45 days before they’d have to sign him to a more lucrative NBA deal.
Two-way contracts range from a league minimum of $75,000 to $250,000 – which is about as low-risk as it gets when you’re talking NBA salaries.
After Paul left the Cavs, the team’s offense was not quite as fluid, but one of Cleveland’s most promising athletes, Sir’Dominic Pointer got better with each game.
The 25-year-old shot an efficient 18-for-30 over his last three games, throwing down some high-flying dunks, battling for rebounds on both ends of the floor, fighting for loose balls, creating extra possessions and playing great defense.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) July 15, 2017
He blocked two shots and swiped seven steals in Friday’s Summer League finale.
The 6-foot-6 forward was acquired via trade during the 2015 NBA Draft along with Cedi Osman, and Pointer has been steadily progressing since his professional debut less than two years ago with the Canton Charge.
He worked on his game in Israel in 2016-2017, playing tougher competition than what he’d seen in the G League.
In the Israeli National League, he was recognized as a First Team All-Israeli League selection, First Team All-Defense, Defensive Player of the Year, and averaged 20.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.9 steals and a league leading 2.2 blocks per game.
All of his work and experience started to show through in these final three games of Summer League and with his athleticism, size and especially his defensive prowess, he would make the most sense outside of Cleveland’s NBA players (Kay Felder and Edy Tavares) to get a longer look at training camp.
Sir'Dominic's play of the knight. pic.twitter.com/Ak0BYceyat
— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) July 14, 2017
The Cavs could sign Pointer to an inexpensive two-way contract and keep him close by to see him develop and work with Cleveland’s system.
It would not count as a 15th roster spot, as each NBA team can sign up to two players on two-way deals, which essentially serve as 16th and 17th roster spots.
Given the Cavs’ payroll and roster uncertainty, the move would be prudent and could pay off dividends down the road.
Multiple reports have indicated Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye are both on the trading block.
Derrick Williams will likely test free-agency and it’s far from a guarantee Cleveland would re-sign him.
Richard Jefferson has an expiring contract, which could also be included in a trade.
Osman is a candidate to be traded, as well.
The point is the Cavs may have a roster spot (or a couple) open depending on if they move the pieces they’re planning to.
So what would they have to lose by having Pointer down in Canton and ready to get a shot in the event of a free roster spot or injuries?
The Cavs can’t afford to sign most proven NBA players who would make a big impact and many of the free-agents who could have fit Cleveland’s roster and budget have already signed with other teams.
Young guys like Pointer, Osman, Tavares and Felder are at least trending in the right direction, unlike some other members of Cleveland’s bench the last three seasons.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 11, 2017
If the Cavs are willing to sign a second player to a two-way contract from their Summer League squad, 6-foot-6 forward Casey Prather also deserves strong consideration, as he played solid in all four of his appearances and later revealed he’d been playing through injuries (undisclosed), which made his last week of play even more impressive considering he was far from 100 percent.