We’re four days away from the season opener for the Cleveland Cavaliers and there’s a roster decision looming that could effect the chemistry in the locker room.
The roster currently sits at the full 20 for training camp, the team waived center Edy Tavares on Wednesday and signed guard Issac Hamilton the same day.
The team must be at 15 players by Tuesday so there’s moves to be made. There’s one slot available for a two-way contract which players would spend time in Cleveland but mainly with the team’s G-League franchise, the Canton Charge.
John Holland occupies one of those slots already and Tavares, Hamilton or second year point guard Kay Felder could earn that other slot if they clear waivers.
Veteran big man Kendrick Perkins is also in camp to attempt a comeback but will likely be released in favor of Ante Zizic who a promising big from Europe that was acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade.
That brings the last roster spot down to either veteran forward Richard Jefferson and veteran guard Jose Calderon.
Calderon currently sits as the third point guard behind Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade. Jefferson sits as the third small forward on the depth chart behind Lebron James and Kyle Korver.
Either move will cost the Cavs financially due to being a repeat tax offender.
Jefferson is slated to make $2.5 million this season while Calderon will make $2.3 million but releasing either would be a $9-10 million dollar hit with the luxury tax.
Releasing Jefferson would be an unpopular move because he’s become a fan favorite over the last several years due to his grit on the floor despite being an aging veteran and because of the popular podcast “Road Trippin” which he does with Cavs forward Channing Frye and Cavs reporter Allie Clifton.
Reports have said the team is trying to trade Jefferson but the team would likely have to throw in a second round pick to make a deal happen.
Calderon was an early free agent signing that just doesn’t seem like a good fit here now and once Isaiah Thomas returns from injury, it would be a wasted roster spot.
I personally would cut Calderon and keep Jefferson for a solid veteran presence and we know that Jefferson can still contribute if needed.