MARCH 3: Merrill’s 10-day contract is now official, the Cavs have confirmed. The deal will cover Cleveland’s next five games, running through the club’s March 12 contest in Charlotte.
Merrill, 26, was the 60th and final pick of the 2020 draft after four years at Utah State. He spent his rookie season with Milwaukee, winning a championship with the Bucks in a very minor role.
He was traded to the Grizzlies in the 2021 offseason, but unfortunately suffered a major ankle sprain in November 2021 which later required surgery. Memphis waived him last January, and he didn’t join another NBA team until signing a partially guaranteed deal with the Kings this past summer.
He spent training camp with Sacramento, but ultimately didn’t make the roster. Merrill’s $150K partial guarantee made him ineligible to join the Kings’ G League affiliate, and the Cleveland Charge, the Cavs’ affiliate, selected him first overall in October’s G League draft.
The sharpshooter hasn’t played much at the NBA level, logging just 8.1 minutes per game in 36 career games with Milwaukee and Memphis. However, he has put up strong numbers for the Charge in ’22/23, averaging 17.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.6 APG and 1.3 SPG on an excellent .469/.437/.852 shooting line in 18 regular season games (33.8 MPG).
The Cavs have an opening on their standard roster, so a corresponding move will not be required in order to sign Merrill.