The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to re-tool their roster in the post-Lebron James era as they are finalizing a trade to acquire forward Sam Dekker from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was the first to report that the deal was close but Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com/Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the details of the trade.
Dekker is being acquired with the Cavs’ $5.8 million trade exception created in the Kyrie Irving trade with Boston last summer.
The deal also includes the exchange of draft rights to European players on both sides and won’t be completed for a couple of days, a source said.
Dekker is scheduled to make $2.76 million so the Cavaliers will still have around $3 million of the Kyrie Irving trade exception left to use by August 22nd when it will expire. Dekker is also slated to be a restricted free agent next summer.
The 24-year-old combo forward spent last season with the Clippers after being traded there from the Houston Rockets in the Chris Paul trade. He appeared in 73 games (1 start) and averaged 4.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in about 12 minutes per game.
He was the 18th overall pick by the Houston Rockets in the 2015 NBA Draft. After being limited to just three games his rookie season, Dekker appeared in 77 games (2 starts) in the 2016-17 season for Houston averaging 6.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in 18.4 minutes per game.
Dekker starred at Wisconsin during his three-year career in college averaging 12.1 points and 5 rebounds per game in 113 games with the Badgers. He was named to the Second-team All-Big Ten during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Yahoo Sports’ Jordan Schultz reported on Sunday that Dekker has a “chance for a fresh start with the Cavs”, citing a “lack of maturity and focus regarding basketball”.
His NBA sample size isn’t very big because of his lack of playing time during his young career. The Cavaliers are obviously in a “youth movement” after the departure of James earlier this offseason. While they have a core of veteran, championship experience led by Kevin Love, the youth is taking over with the likes of Collin Sexton, Larry Nance and Cedi Osman among others.
They’ve added Dekker and also are going to sign free agent forward David Nwaba to give them a shot on a team that wants to compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and also wants to get better defensively.
The team also waived forward Okaro White on Sunday as half of his $1.5 million salary was set to be guaranteed. He appeared in no games with the Cavaliers after signing with them back in March.