Cleveland Cavaliers Sending Reserve Big Men Back And Forth To The D-League

By Nick Claussen
David Richard – USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been sending big men Samardo Samuels and Jon Leuer back and forth to the team’s NBA D-League franchise a lot lately, and it looks like it is going to continue for a while.

Samuels and Leuer can both play in the NBA, but neither player has been consistent enough to help the Cavaliers much this season.

Samuels has played in 18 games so far this season for Cleveland and is averaging 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game, while he is playing 10.9 minutes a night.

Last season, the 6-9 center scored 5.4 points per game and pulled down 3.3 rebounds per game. He played just over 15 minutes a night, and played in 54 games.

One big problem for Samuels this year is that his shooting percentage dropped from 45 percent last season to 37 percent this season.

Leuer, meanwhile, has only played in 5 games this year for the Cavaliers, and is scoring 3.2 points per game. He is also pulling down 2 rebounds per game and playing just over 14 minutes in the games he plays in.

Last season, the 6-10 forward played in 46 games for the Milwaukee Bucks and started 12 games. He scored 4.7 points per game and pulled down an average of 2.6 rebounds per game.

Currently, Leuer and Samuels are both playing behind big men Anderson Varejao, Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson. Neither player is getting many minutes, but the team needs another inside player to step up and contribute more off the bench.

Head Coach Byron Scott said the team is sending Leuer and Samuels back and forth to the Canton Charge D-League franchise to get them more playing time and help them continue to improve.

“Experience is big for them,” Scott said. “The one thing we want to do is keep their games pretty sharp.”

So far, both players are excelling during their time in Canton.

Samuels has played in 2 games and started both of them. He is averaging 20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 assist per night.

Leuer, meanwhile, has played in 7 games in Canton and started 6 of the contests. He is averaging 19.4 points, 12.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.

Both players are shooting over 54 percent from the field in the D-League games, and are playing very well.

The experience should help them continue to improve, but it’s yet to be seen if they can become solid NBA players and contributors.


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