In a minor turn of events, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers have officially picked up their minimum-salary team option for SF/F Lamar Stevens for the upcoming campaign.
Stevens will make roughly $1.9 million next season, although that amount won’t be fully guaranteed.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2023
Even though the team picked up the option, his salary will be non-guaranteed until January 10, so he could still be waived or traded at some point in the offseason — or even in the regular season.
Then again, it’s not like J.B. Bickerstaff and the Cavs could find many pieces that could contribute at that pay rate.
Stevens has been a fringe rotation player and has made a positive impact in limited minutes.
He made 62 appearances for the team last season, including 25 starts, and averaged 18.1 minutes per contest.
At 6-foot-6 and being able to play and guard both forward spots, he averaged 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game on 45% from the floor and 31% from beyond the arc, excelling as a perimeter defender.
Stevens will never be a focal point in the offense, and it’s not like the Cavs need him to play that role either, with Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell there.
But he still needs to improve as a three-point shooter to earn more minutes as a true 3-and-D wing.
He’ll now become an unrestricted free agent in 2024, granted that he’s not waived or extended this season.
As for the Cavs, they could still make some big moves in free agency, as they need a starting-caliber forward to round up their lineup.NEXT: Cavaliers Insider Comments On Jarrett Allen Trade Rumors