Promising Cavs youngster feels he’s ‘nowhere near as good’ as he possibly can be

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Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers young guard Sharife Cooper revealed to Cavs Insider that he believes he is “nowhere near as good” as he can possibly be at the NBA level.

It seems like Cooper, a former second-round pick, thinks that there is a higher level that he can reach, which is a great sign for the Cavs.

“That’s the best part — being able to experience this so young and have so much potential ahead of me,” Cooper said. “I feel like I’m nowhere near as good as I possibly can be. But I feel like I am pretty experienced.

“It’s an extreme gift to be able to play two years in this league and be around this league for two years and going into my third.”

Cooper has played in 13 games in his NBA career, all for the Atlanta Hawks. They all came during the 2021-22 season. In the NBA, Cooper has averaged 0.5 points, 0.4 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 3.0 minutes per game.

However, the Auburn University product has thrived at the G League level, showing that he may just need a shot to succeed in the NBA.

A smaller guard, Cooper has shined during his time in the G League, averaging 19.4 points per game across two seasons. In the 2022-23 campaign, Cooper averaged 21.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game for the Cleveland Charge.

At the end of the 2022-23 season, Cooper was named to the All-NBA G League Second Team.

For the 2023-24 season, Cooper signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Cavs that will become fully guaranteed if he’s on the roster through Jan. 10, 2024. The young guard has a chance to carve out a role as a reserve guard behind Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell.

Even though he’s bounced around from the NBA to the G League, Cooper clearly is confident in his abilities to make an impact at the NBA level.

Hopefully, he will get a shot to help the Cavs this season as they look to get back to the playoffs. Cleveland had a solid 2022-23 season, earning the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, but it was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.

If Cooper can turn into a valuable bench piece, the Cavs may have the depth to make a run in the East this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.