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Cavaliers’ Joe Harris undergoing potentially season-ending surgery

Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers

Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers

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The Cavaliers reportedly want to trade Joe Harris for a second-round pick.

This won’t help.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

This might cause the Cavaliers to waive Harris. He’ll become a free agent this summer, and if Cleveland doesn’t plan to keep him, why not just drop him now if he’s out for the season? His salary is guaranteed, so he’d still get paid and count against the cap and luxury tax. But the Cavs would open a roster spot.

It’s obviously a more difficult question if the Cavaliers have interest in re-signing him this offseason. They can make him a restricted free agent.

Though another team could gain his matching rights by trading for him and extending a qualifying offer, a season-ending injury would probably suffocate the trade market for Harris – unless Cleveland attaches a pick to dump him. That could be an option for the Cavaliers, who’d reduce their impending luxury-tax bill by $3,356,647 by trading Harris for no returning salary rather than him clearing waivers.

Harris has potential as a 3-and-D shooting guard. But he doesn’t defend well enough to justify his good, not great, outside shooting. At least one of those skills will have to improve for the 24-year-old to become rotation-worthy.

This news also makes it more likely Cleveland keeps Jared Cunningham, whose salary becomes fully guaranteed Sunday. Still, the Cavs could waive Cunningham and attempt to re-sign him on a 10-day contract to keep their options open.