Many Cleveland Cavaliers fans were wondering when the team would address some of its needs as players became free agents on the first of July. As fans watched patiently as the big names started falling one by one, a lynchpin signing opened a crack for the Cavs to get one player they coveted.
On Friday, July 5, as negotiations with Andre Igoudala were being finalized, the Golden State Warriors decided against retaining Jack. Jack later tweeted, “Well it has been fun while it lasted.” Jack had hoped to stay with the team, which acquired him last July in a three-team trade between the New Orleans Hornets Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors.
The 29-year-old Jack is a versatile player who can play either guard spot and is equally adept at distributing the ball and scoring. He has been a highly durable player, appearing in at least 79 games in every season of his eight-year NBA career. He is a positive force in the locker room, offering the benefit of his experience to the young Warriors roster.
These were exactly the attributes the Cavs front office was looking for. According to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group, who first reported the deal, Jack will receive a four-year contract worth $25 million, with the Cavs holding the option on the fourth year. Just over $19 million of that is guaranteed. Teams must wait until July 10 to announce any signings during the NBA’s free agency period.
The deal sends Jack to his sixth team in seven seasons, as he has played for the Warriors, Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, and Portland Trailblazers previously. The 6-3, 198-pound Jack played three years of college ball at Georgia Tech before being selected with the 22nd selection of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. Later on during draft night, he was traded to the Blazers in exchange for their 27th pick (Linas Kleiza) and 35th pick (Ricky Sanchez).
For his career, Jack shoots 44.8 percent from the field, 35.8 percent from beyond the arc and 85.2 percent from the stripe. The Cavs now have a functional bench of Jack, Earl Clark (formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers), who recently agreed to terms, and forwards Anthony Bennett and Sergey Karasev. The versatile bench is definitely taking shape.
Chris Grant is presently looking for opportunities to bring in a backup big man and has roughly $12-15 million in cap space left for next season but could bump that amount by another $3 million by dropping the non-guaranteed contracts of C.J. Miles and Kevin Jones. Omar Asik has asked out of Houston after the Howard signing was announced, but Houston would require several assets in return for him and his expensive contract and is not interested in dealing him.
All in all, Chris Grant continues to impress me as he constructs the Cavs team of the future. Jack is just what the team needed and is a great piece to build around. I can’t wait to see what Grant has up his sleeve next.