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Report: Cavaliers keeping only one unguaranteed player, likely a guard

Cavaliers Raptors Basketball

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jared Cunningham, left, drives past Toronto Raptors’ Terrance Ross during second half NBA preseason basketball action in Toronto on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)


The Cavaliers have seven players competing for regular-season roster spots behind Cleveland’s 13 guaranteed salaries:

  • Jared Cunningham
  • Chris Johnson
  • Austin Daye
  • D.J. Stephens
  • Dionte Christmas
  • Nick Minnerath
  • Quinn Cook

Who will last once the Cavs trim their roster to the regular season limit of 15?

Chris Haynes of

The Cleveland Cavaliers will keep a full 20-man training camp roster until the final day of camp, team sources reveal.

The Eastern Conference champs will go into the regular season on Oct. 27 carrying 14 players, not 15

The team isn’t totally against taking on 15 by adding two roster hopefuls, but I’m told it would take an extraordinary effort on the part of the other invites to make that a possibility.

Cunningham, who leads Cleveland with 13.0 points per game in the preseason, is the clear favorite to land the final spot. He’s shooting just 40% from the field and 25% on 3-pointers, but his team lead in preseason minutes shows how closely the Cavs want to evaluate him. The No. 24 pick in the 2012 hasn’t shown much in 40 games over three seasons with the Mavericks, Hawks,Kings and Clippers, but Cleveland is clearly intrigued.

I thought the Cavaliers would also keep Cook, who could provide point guard depth with Kyrie Irving injured. An extra point guard behind Mo Williams and Matthew Dellavedova would be particularly helpful with Iman Shumpert also sidelined, allowing Williams to play more guard. Cook, who went undrafted out of Duke, has enough savvy to be a third point guard in the NBA.

These seven players’ contracts don’t become guaranteed until Jan. 10. So, if the Cavs are ready to sign Tristan Thompson, they can just waive someone without paying him for the rest of the season.

The biggest reason to carry 14 is to save money rather than paying a 15th while he’s on the roster.

Maybe some of that savings will go toward increasing Thompson’s offer.