The Cleveland Cavaliers have said goodbye to Samardo Samuels.
Samuels had some productive minutes for the Cavaliers over the last two plus seasons, but the decision to waive him was the right decision.
The Cavaliers signed Samuels before the 2010-2011 season, and he played for the Wine and Gold for the last 2 ½ years. Samuels appeared in 109 games for the Cavaliers during his time in Cleveland and averaged 5.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
This season, Samuels appeared in 18 games and started 1 contest. He was averaging just 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.
Samuels had also been sent down to the team’s D-League franchise in Canton this year for a short time, and Head Coach Byron Scott said previously that he expected to be sending Samuels and Jon Leuer back and forth to the D-League at different times this season to help them get more experience.
Management apparently changed directions on Samuels, though, and just decided to cut ties with him.
I respect Samuels as a player, especially since he is undersized at 6-9 and had productive minutes at center and forward. But while he has worked hard to become an NBA player, he’s simply not doing enough to help the Cavaliers move ahead. He can’t score enough, he doesn’t look like a great defender and he’s not doing all that much to help the team when he is on the floor. It seemed like when he did get into the game, he was just taking up minutes.
The Cavaliers need to give minutes to players who can help them get better now and can help them in the future, and Samuels just does not fit either role. The team has young big men in Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller, and they are going to be part of the team’s foundation.
And while Leuer is still a question mark in the post since he has not gotten many minutes yet with the Cavaliers, management must see something in him that makes them want to spend more time developing him.
Also, letting Samuels go now may also make it easier to for the Cavalier to make trades to bring other players in, or it gives the team room to sign free agents or bring up players who are excelling in the D-League.
Samuels played well in Cleveland, but just not well enough. I hope he catches on with another team and makes an impact, but I’m glad to see him moving on.