The Cavs have released Jack Cooley, Dionte Christmas, Austin Daye and D.J. Stephens, the team announced. All were with the team on non-guaranteed deals. The moves leave Cleveland with 16 players, 14 of whom have full guarantees. Shooting guard and preseason sensation Jared Cunningham along with former Duke point guard Quinn Cook are the remaining non-guaranteed Cavs, though he Cavaliers have reportedly been planning to carry only 14 players for opening night.
Cooley, 24, was a late addition to the Cavs preseason roster after the Jazz cut him loose earlier this month. Cleveland signed him in part to compensate for the absence of Tristan Thompson, as Jake Fischer of SI Now tweeted, but with Thompson finally having re-signed this week, it’s no surprise to see Cooley go, in spite of his impressive rebounding. The big man averaged 4.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in just 12.1 minutes per game over two preseason appearances with the Cavs.
Christmas also signed after the preseason had already begun. The 29-year-old shooting guard nonetheless saw plenty of playing time, averaging 6.8 points in 19.9 minutes per game over four contests.
Daye agreed to join the Cavs last month in an effort to refresh a flagging NBA career. The 27-year-old former 15th overall pick averaged 5.0 points in 11.9 minutes per game in six preseason appearances.
Zach Links of Hoops Rumors reported in early September that Stephens would sign with the Cavs. The high-flying 24-year-old swingman put up 3.3 points in 7.3 minutes per game during his four preseason contests.