Report: Cavs signing guard Sam Merrill to multiyear contract

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly signing shooting guard Sam Merrill to a multiyear contract, even though he has only played one game for the team.

It sounds like the deal is for three years.

Merrill signed a 10-day contract with the Cavaliers earlier this month and apparently showed the team enough to warrant a larger investment in his future.

The professional career of Merrill first began in November 2020, when he was the 60th and final pick of the 2020 NBA Draft out of Utah State University. He was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans before being dealt just days later to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a four-team deal.

Soon after, Merrill signed a multiyear contract with the Bucks. As a rookie, he saw action in 30 regular season games, starting two contests.

Merrill saw limited action during the 2021 postseason as the Bucks captured their first NBA championship in 50 years. After the season, he was dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies.

With the Grizzlies, Merrill only appeared in six NBA games. He was waived on New Year’s Day of last year before signing a contract with the Sacramento Kings last August.

Merrill was ultimately waived by the Kings and eventually found a spot with the Cavaliers’ G League affiliate, the Cleveland Charge.

Playing 18 regular season games for the Charge, Merrill gave hints of his potential, averaging 17.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game. During that stretch, he showed off his talents as a 3-point shooter, going 66-of-151 from beyond the arc for a 3-point shooting percentage of 43.7.

In his only game with the Cavaliers so far, Merrill played four minutes during the team’s March 4 blowout of the Detroit Pistons. He finished with two points.

It remains to be seen how much Merrill will contribute this season as the Cavaliers battle for playoff positioning in the latter stages of the regular season.

However, the vote of confidence the Cavaliers are giving Merrill potentially shows that he could play a legitimate role for the team in the years ahead.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.