While the Cleveland Cavaliers are still basking in the champagne and confetti from winning the NBA championship a little over a week ago, the front office is busy preparing for the 2016-17 season. With plenty of other decisions to make this off-season, the team has chosen to exercise the team option they have for guard Jordan McRae, per Cleveland.com's Chris Haynes.
Facing a Wednesday deadline to make a decision on the option, the team decided that bringing back the University of Tennessee product would be a good decision, no matter how much playing time he had last season. One of the last players off the bench, the decision to bring back the 25-year-old was purely due to not only his potential, but what he brings both on and off the court, including in the locker room and on the practice court.
In limited time, McRae averaged 4.1 points, and 1.0 assists in 7.5 minutes per game while shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 63.6 percent from beyond the arc in 14 regular season appearances. His finest moment in the NBA so far came during his lone start in the final regular season game, when the 25-year-old had a career-high 36 points to go along with four rebounds and seven assists while making 14-of-29 (48.3 percent) shots from the field and 5-of-8 (62.5 percent) from three-point land. Coupled with the fact that the sharpshooter averaged 21.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.5 steals while shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from beyond the arc in 42 D-League appearances are reasons why the wine and gold want to give the kid a chance to develop even more. His D-League career also includes a single-game record 61 points that he had against the Canton Charge earlier in the 2015-16 season.
The feel good part of the story came just days before the Cavaliers signed McRae to a ten-day contract in earlier February. With the guard running out of patience for his shot to join the league, he asked his agent if he could sign somewhere overseas. Luckily for him, his representative told him to wait it out because an NBA offer might come sooner rather than later. Just a few short days later, the wine and gold called, and McRae has been in Cleveland ever since, a decision that he is forever grateful.
"Waiting was the best thing that ever happened to me," McRae told cleveland.com. "I would have missed out on this championship. I'm so blessed."
Heading into 2016-17, if the sharpshooters shows more development, he can earn himself some minutes off the bench. With players such as guards Matthew Dellavedova and J.R. Smith's future with the team (due to free agency) in question, this is a very important off-season for McRae. If he can develop his game more this summer, McRae might just earn himself some more minutes next season.