Report: Cavs agree to deal with former Heat guard

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers have decided to make a signing with the start of the 2023-24 NBA regular season getting closer, agreeing to a deal with former Miami Heat guard Justin Powell.

Powell went undrafted in the 2023 NBA Draft following a three-season stint playing college basketball for three different programs. He played his first season with Auburn University, his second with the University of Tennessee and his third with Washington State University.

Powell’s worst season of college basketball came when he was a sophomore and playing for Tennessee. His role was on the smaller side, and he averaged just 3.7 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game in 30 games played with the Volunteers in the 2021-22 season (one start).

Conversely, the guard’s best season of college basketball arguably came during his final season at the collegiate level, when he was a member of Washington State. He averaged 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 0.7 steals per game in 34 appearances with the Cougars during the 2022-23 season (all starts).

Powell established himself as one of the best 3-point shooters in the nation as a junior, too. He hit 42.6 percent of his 3-point shots at 5.4 attempts per game, a very impressive combination of accuracy and volume.

The guard’s contributions on the offensive end of the floor didn’t translate to a whole lot of wins for the Cougars, however. They finished the season with a mediocre 17-17 record and missed out on the NCAA Tournament.

A lackluster offense was a big reason why the Cougars weren’t able to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. They scored just 68.4 points per game, which ranked 270th out of 363 teams.

Powell got some action with the Heat in Summer League this year, appearing in three games and playing a small role. Now, he’ll get a chance to prove his worth to the Cavs.

Powell might not play anything more than garbage time minutes with the Cavaliers during the 2023-24 regular season if the team decides to keep him around. After all, he is an undrafted rookie. Still, he figures to make the most of the opportunity.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.