Report: Cavaliers signing D.J. Stephens
J.R. Smith apparently made it through the weekend without getting waived, guaranteeing his 2015-16 salary.
Tristan Thompson will almost certainly return to the Cavaliers next season, too – whether he signs long-term or accepts the qualifying offer.
That will give Cleveland 14 players with guaranteed salaries.
The 15th and final regular-season roster spot will be determined in training camp. The Cavaliers have already added Quinn Cook, Jared Cunningham and Jerrelle Benimon.
Now, D.J. Stephens joins the competition.
To clarify, a player can attend training camp only with a valid NBA contract. If Stephens makes the team, his contract will carry over. The training-camp deal allows Cleveland to pay Stephens just $6,000 if he gets injured. Otherwise, his contract would become guaranteed until he’s healthy. Training-camp contracts must also be for one year and unguaranteed.
When Stephens left Memphis in 2013, his ball skills were far below NBA caliber. What Stephens had: Incredible athleticism. His 40-inch no-step vertical and 46-inch max vertical still top the DraftExpress database, and his sprint time ranks fifth. But he’s just 6-foot-5, tiny for a power forward.
Stephens had a 10-day contract with the Bucks in 2014 and has also played overseas. If the Cavaliers waive him, they can assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, the Canton Charge. That’s probably the most likely outcome.