Cavaliers To Sign D.J. Stephens

High-flying swingman D.J. Stephens has agreed to a training camp deal with the Cavaliers, a league source tells Hoops Rumors. Stephens appeared in three contests for the Bucks while on a 10-day contract in 2013/14 and he’ll now look to get back to NBA action with Cleveland in 2015/16.

Last fall, Stephens inked a non-guaranteed minimum-salary camp deal with the Pelicans and was among the team’s final cuts about a week before Halloween. In December, the Keith Kreiter client signed on with Russia’s Zenit St. Petersburg, where he enjoyed a starting role. In 31 games (28 starts) between the VTB United League and Eurocup play, the 24-year-old averaged 7.0 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 57.7% from the floor in 22.7 minutes per game. The defensive specialist also tallied 21 steals and 26 blocks over the course of 31 appearances last year.

Stephens went undrafted out of the University of Memphis in 2013, even though his 46-inch vertical leap at the draft combine set an all-time record that still stands, as DraftExpress shows. He never averaged double figures in points during his four years at Memphis, but he used his athleticism on the other end of the floor, winning the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year award in his senior season.  In 2013/14, the strong defender played in 25 combined games with Ilisiakos BC of Greece and Anadolu Efes of Turkey and averaged 8.4 PPG and 7.0 RPG in 23.8 MPG.

The Cavaliers have been carrying 13 fully guaranteed deals, assuming that the team’s pact with draft-and-stash prospect Sasha Kaun is one of them. They also reportedly have a non-guaranteed deal with Jared Cunningham, a camp arrangement with Jerrelle Benimon, and they’re expected to bring Quinn Cook to camp, too. The unresolved restricted free agency of Tristan Thompson casts a broad shadow on the Cavs roster, of course.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
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