Three-point specialist Steve Novak would be a candidate to join the Cavaliers if he works a buyout with the Nuggets and becomes a free agent, reports Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who writes at the bottom of his latest on fellow Cavs target Joe Johnson. The Nuggets have agreed to work on a buyout with Novak, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported Thursday, though a follow-up dispatch from Stein made it seem as though a buyout is a certainty. Either way, March 1st is the last day any player can hit waivers and appear in the postseason for another team, so that’s the de facto deadline Novak is dealing with.
The 32-year-old Novak appeared in only seven games for the Thunder this season before the Thursday trade that shipped him to the Nuggets. He last averaged at least 10.0 minutes per game in 2013/14, when he saw precisely that amount of playing time in 54 games for the Raptors. His career 43.2% 3-point shooting has helped keep him in the league, and so has his contract, which gives him $3.75MM this season. A buyout would entail him giving up part of that amount.
Cleveland could sign both Johnson and Novak without having to offload anyone, since the Cavs have two open roster spots. The March 1st deadline doesn’t apply directly to a signing. A waived player can sign as late as the final day of the regular season and appear in the playoffs, just as long as his release from his previous team came no later than March 1st.