The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly have parted with seven players as their roster begins to take shape for the 2023-24 NBA season opener.
The Cavs also signed and waived Rob Edwards, Aleem Ford and Devontae Shuler.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) October 21, 2023
Sharife Cooper, Pete Nance, Justin Powell, Zhaire Smith, Rob Edwards, Aleem Ford and Devontae Shuler are the seven players. None of them were thought to be major contributors for the Cavs, who will open the campaign on Wednesday at the Brooklyn Nets.
Among those let go, Cooper showed some promise in the G League last season and had said he believes he is “nowhere near as good” as he can be in the NBA.
Nance is a familiar name to Cavaliers fans as he is the son of Larry Nance Sr. and brother of Larry Nance Jr., each of whom played for Cleveland during their NBA careers.
Smith was trying to revive an NBA career that saw him last play in the 2019-20 season for the Philadelphia 76ers. The former first-round pick – No. 16 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft – has experienced many setbacks in his NBA journey. Those include a foot injury and very serious allergic reaction that once hospitalized him for around a month and a half and caused him to lose about 60 pounds.
The Cavs roster for this season proved to be a very difficult one to crack, which speaks well of their possible fortunes for this season. After winning 51 games in the 2022-23 campaign and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2018, they are seen as one of the up-and-coming teams in the league.
Sporting a solid core of franchise player Donovan Mitchell and impressive teammates Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, the Cavs also made some notable additions this offseason. They acquired Max Strus in a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat and signed Georges Niang as a free agent after playing for the Philadelphia 76ers.
One new player who will debut on the roster this season is Emoni Bates, and the Cavs may have struck gold after he was a second-round selection (No. 49 overall) in the 2023 NBA Draft.
With promising additions joining four of ESPN’s top 50 players, there is plenty of optimism surrounding the Cavs with the season on the verge of tipping off.