2:30pm: The Cavaliers intend to waive third-year forward Alfonzo McKinnie, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Cleveland will also release rookie forward Tyler Cook, who was recently promoted to the 15-man roster.
McKinnie, 27, spent last season with the Warriors but was a cap casualty in October and was claimed off waivers by the Cavaliers. He struggled in Cleveland though, averaging 2.7 PPG with a .353/.286/.636 shooting line in 23 games (11.0 MPG).
As for Cook, he spent most of the season on a two-way contract with the Cavs before being promoted to the 15-man roster on Friday. It appears as if that move was designed to get him a little extra money before he was waived. ESPN’s Bobby Marks reports (via Twitter) that Cook got a $50K partial guarantee on his new contract.
In addition to eating Cook’s $50K guarantee, the Cavaliers will also be on the hook for a prorated portion of McKinnie’s non-guaranteed minimum salary, which works out to about $709K. Both players would have had their full 2019/20 salaries guaranteed if they had been retained through Tuesday.
The moves will leave the Cavs with just 13 players on standard contracts and one on a two-way deal, giving them a total of three open roster spots. Cleveland will have to add at least one player in the near future, since NBA teams can only dip below 14 players on standard contracts for up to two weeks at a time. The Cavs will also likely fill their two-way opening by next Wednesday, since January 15 is the deadline to sign players to two-way contracts.
Now that teams can sign players to 10-day contracts, the Cavs may look to bring in multiple players for 10-day auditions in the coming weeks and months. According to Charania, the club will explore the possibility of re-signing McKinnie, assuming he clears waivers on Wednesday.