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#pounditMonday, August 8, 2022

Surprising player gets biggest contract in Cavs history

Darius Garland smiling

Mar 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) smiles after a basket during the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers just gave out the largest contract in team history, and it went to a surprising player.

On Saturday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi reported that the Cavaliers signed All-Star guard Darius Garland to a five-year, $193 million maximum designated rookie contract extension.

According to Wojnarowski, Garland’s contract could be worth up to $231 million.

The Cavs have had LeBron James on their team, as well as All-Stars like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. But it’s Garland who gets the team’s biggest contract ever, which is a sign of the incredible financial progress the NBA has made in recent years.

The contract is by far the largest deal among players on the Cavs’ active roster. According to Spotrac, Kevin Love’s four-year, $120 million contract is the second-largest. In comparison, the biggest deal that James ever signed with Cleveland was a three-year $100 million deal after he led the Cavaliers to their first NBA title in 2016.

Garland has been a key presence on a Cleveland team that has made marked improvements since the 22-year-old was drafted fifth overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. Garland averaged 12.3 points and 3.9 assists during his rookie season, and 17.4 points and 6.1 assists during the 2020-2021 season. Last season, the Vanderbilt product made his first All-Star team. The Cavaliers had a 44-38 record while Garland averaged a career-high 21.7 points and 8.6 assists per game. The Cavaliers earned a spot in a play-in game, but failed to make the playoffs after losses to the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks.

With Garland locked in for the foreseeable future and a solid core of young talent around him, the Cavaliers look to be in a good position to build on last season’s success.

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