In what’s been one of the more expected moves by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reports that Cleveland has signed wing Denzel Valentine to a partially guaranteed two-year contract.
In a subsequent move, the Cavs are waiving guard Damyean Dotson, per The Athletic’s Kelsey Russo.
Valentine, selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 14th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, has had an up-and-down career filled with highs like a 34-point outing (against the Cavaliers) and lows like major surgeries to his left knee and left ankle.
Perhaps Valentine trying to get back into rhythm following surgeries and in pandemic-shortened seasons (as well as offseasons) is what’s led to his regression as a perimeter shooter since the 2017-18 season, when he shot a career-high 38.6 percent from 3-point range. He’s only shot 33.2 percent from 3-point range since then.
However, playing beside savvy playmakers like Darius Garland, Ricky Rubio, Evan Mobley and Kevin Love could provide Valentine with the type of clean looks he needs while players like Mobley, Isaac Okoro and Lamar Stevens have the potential to take the pressure off of him defensively.
He’ll also reunite with sharpshooting power forward Lauri Markkanen, who the Cavs recently acquired in a sign-and-trade.
Meanwhile, Dotson’s release will come as a surprise to many.
Although he shot a career-low 28.9 percent from 3-point range in 2020-21 (while shooting a combined 36.6 percent from deep in the two previous seasons), he was miscast in a combo guard role.
Just 27-years-old himself, Dotson’s playing career is far from over.