On the heels of playing out a 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this month, former Bountiful High and Utah State star Sam Merrill’s NBA future is now more secure, at least by a bit.
On Tuesday, multiple outlets reported that Merrill is signing a multiyear deal with the Cavs.
While the deal gives Merrill more surety beyond a 10-day contract, the reality is that it almost surely doesn’t guarantee him a spot in the NBA for the next few years.
It is legal to structure multiyear contracts with multiple years that are nonguaranteed, and teams often sign fringe players to such contracts.
Although terms of Merrill’s contract have not been released, it is likely that his deal is guaranteed for the remainder of this season and then nonguaranteed for the remaining years of the deal.
Merrill, 26, was the 60th and final pick of the 2020 NBA draft by the New Orleans Pelicans, but he was immediately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he won a championship as a rookie.
After the season, he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies and spent a few months with them before getting waived.
He signed with the Sacramento Kings last summer but was waived, which led to him entering the NBA G League draft.
There, he was taken first overall by the Cleveland Charge, the Cavs’ affiliate. Before the Cavs signed him earlier this month, he had averaged 16.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 35 games with the Charge.
He has appeared in one game for the Cavs so far, scoring two points in four minutes of a 114-90 win over the Detroit Pistons on March 4.