According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Clippers have traded forward Sam Dekker to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Further details of the trade are unknown at this time, but it’s hard to imagine the Clippers getting anything of substance for Dekker, who they were likely to cut anyway.
Cleveland is finalizing a trade to acquire Los Angeles Clippers forward Sam Dekker, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 5, 2018
The primary advantage for the Clippers is that they get to move Dekker’s guaranteed $2.7 million salary off of their books, potentially giving them additional flexibility under the luxury tax line and saving owner Steve Ballmer a little bit of money—though it wouldn’t surprise me if L.A. is sending Cleveland cash to cover a portion of Dekker’s salary for this season.
Dekker, a 6’8” combo forward from Wisconsin, was a major disappointment in his third NBA season and first as a Clipper, routinely losing minutes to Wesley Johnson, rookie wing Sindarius Thornwell, and two-way contract players from the G-League such as C.J. Williams, Jamil Wilson, and Tyrone Wallace. Of the 21 players who wore a Clippers uniform last season, only Brice Johnson and Sean Kilpatrick were less impactful, and Sam provided no indication that he could perform at an NBA-caliber level going forward.
The Clippers’ roster spot situation made it impossible to hold on to Sam. After releasing C.J. Williams last week and now trading Dekker, the Clippers sit at 16 contracts—a number that will have to be trimmed to 15 by opening night. It seems likely that one of the team’s second-year guards (Sindarius Thornwell or Jawun Evans) will be the final cut during training camp.