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Report: Cavs Intend to Bring in Younger Players on ‘Trial Basis’ for Rest of Season
- Updated: January 8, 2019
With the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2018-19 season in total collapse, the team’s front office has adopted a new strategy for the remainder of the campaign.
That involves bringing in younger players on short-term deals who will show what they can do in the hopes of helping the team rebuild more quickly.
“This is a season for auditions and Payne is just the latest. The Cavs plan to continue bringing in younger players on a trial basis for the rest of the season.”
The arrival of Payne will help provide some depth at point guard, which has seen 20-year-old rookie Collin Sexton recently put in some major minutes at the position. That’s been necessitated by Matthew Dellavedova’s sore foot that presently has him questionable for the Cavs’ Tuesday night home game against Indiana.
Payne had been released by the Chicago Bulls last week, but is just 24 years old and was drafted by Oklahoma City in 2015 with the 14th overall pick. During his 31 games with the Bulls, he averaged 5.7 points and scored 21 points during an October contest.
Last season, he underwent foot surgery and spent time in the G League, which limited him to just 25 games with Chicago. However, during that time on the court, he averaged 8.8 points and 4.5 assists.
When the season began, the Cavaliers were hoping to contend for a playoff spot, but that soon disintegrated under the weight of injuries and the glaring loss of LeBron James. Looking ahead by attempting to reshape the roster is one of the few current options available to the 8-32 Cavaliers, who begin a six-game road trip on Wednesday night.