The Cavaliers will exercise their team option for 2016/17 on guard Jordan McRae, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com. The team’s decision, which was due later this week, will ensure McRae remains on the roster for now, but doesn’t necessarily guarantee him a roster spot for the regular season. According to Haynes, McRae’s ’16/17 salary isn’t fully guaranteed.
After initially signing McRae to a 10-day contract earlier in the year, the Cavs liked what they saw from the Tennessee product, ultimately inking him to a two-year deal. McRae didn’t see much action for the champs in the regular season or the playoffs — he briefly appeared in garbage time in two postseason games, and averaged 7.5 minutes in 15 regular-season contests.
Still, one of those in which McRae appeared was the regular-season finale, when the Cavs rested their regulars and gave their bench players an opportunity to start. McRae went off for 36 points in that game, easily a new career high.
Unlike most teams around the NBA, Cleveland doesn’t expect to have or use any room under the cap this summer. As such, turning down McRae’s option wouldn’t have freed up any cap space to sign a replacement, particularly since it’s only a minimum-salary option, worth about $875K. So it makes sense that the Cavs picked it up.
With McRae’s option set to be exercised, there are only a couple more team option decisions remaining, as our free agent list shows. NBA clubs typically don’t use team options in free agent contracts too often, since non-guaranteed salaries have a similar function, and give teams more flexibility, since they aren’t limited to a June decision deadline.