Report: Cavs waive 5 players ahead of regular-season opener vs. Raptors

Sharife Cooper Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly released five players ahead of the start of the 2022-23 regular season.

A few of the released players are expected to join the Cleveland Charge, the team’s G League affiliate. Joining the Charge will allow players like Nate Hinton, Sharife Cooper and Jamorko Pickett to get consistent playing time while still learning the ins and outs of the Cavaliers’ system.

Members of the Cavaliers organization will also be able to closely evaluate some of the players, as the Charge play their home games at Wolstein Center, which is within walking distance of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, where the Cavaliers play their home contests.

Cleveland seems to have its core for the 2022-23 campaign set, as they will roll out Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen in the starting lineup for most of the games.

Who the starting small forward will be has seemingly already been decided by head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, but he recently said that he wouldn’t reveal his pick. It seems likely that either Caris LeVert or Isaac Okoro will end up starting at the 3 for the Cavs.

The Cavs are set to open their regular season on the road on Oct. 19 against the Toronto Raptors. They’ll hope to get things off on the right foot after suffering a disappointing end to last season in the play-in tournament.

Looking at some of the departures

Mamadi Diakite was among the players the Cavs released. He played in four preseason games with the Cavs, averaging 9.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and had a double-double against the Atlanta Hawks.

R.J. Nembhard has been around the Cavs organization for some time, playing multiple games for the team last season. He averaged 2.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in four preseason contests for the Cavs. They apparently had some high hopes for him, so it’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.

Hinton saw minimal action in three preseason games with Cleveland, recording 2.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 7.0 minutes per game.

Cooper, who signed with the team last month, averaged 6.0 points per game in three contests and had a nice performance against the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 5. He has lots of potential and should be a standout player for the Charge. It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on his development throughout the season.

Pickett only played in one preseason game for the Cavs, registering two rebounds, one assist and two steals.

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