As we mentioned Sunday, the Cavaliers have come to terms with free agent forward Rob Kurz, well, sort-of. Brian Windhorst
reported that the "Cavs have agreed to a non-guaranteed contract with free agent forward Rob Kurz, a 6-9 shooting specialist, worth $736,000." But while the Cavs won't offer the guaruntee, I will: Kurz makes the roster. Why? Read on and I'll tell you.
Rob Kurz is a forward that can step out and hit the three with consistency, give effort on defense, and rebound a little bit too. He only averaged 11 minutes per game in the 40 games he did appear last season, but in that time he made the most of it. He connected on 15 of the 38 three pointers he attempted (40%), and came up big in the two games he played extended minutes. He played over 30 minutes in a game only two times last season, but in those games he scored 20 points at Denver in 33 minutes, and 21 points at Utah in 38 minutes. Does this mean he will be a star? No chance. But could it mean that he could one day develop into a solid 8th or 9th man for this team? Sure, why not?
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As NBA role players go, a lot of guys have trouble making the transition from being the main guy in college, to finding success as a supplementary player on an NBA squad. Take Luke Jackson for example. Had he been okay with, and focused on, finding a place in the NBA as a three point specialist, I see no reason why he wouldn't have been in an NBA rotation the last couple seasons. However, he wanted to do it all. Put the ball on the floor, take guys off the dribble, essentially do things beyond his speciality, and it hurt him. Kurz on the other hand has no problem being a specialist, and that could help his development as a rotation player. In college, playing with the likes of Colin Falls, Kyle McAlarney, and Luke Harangody, Kurz was never the main option, and never the second option for that matter. Yet despite the lack of accolades and attention, he displayed hardwork, leadership, and consistentency in his career at Notre Dame. He didn't crack the starting lineup until his junior year, but during his junior and senior campaigns he started 60 of the 61 games, was a two time captain, and averaged 12 points, 7.5 rebounds, each year. Nothing arguably special, but inarguably solid.
Despite the fact that he was undrafted out of college a year ago, as a Cavalier next season, I think Kurz can come in and be a 'key reserve role player.' Meaning, if there is an injury to the second unit, for a stretch of 5, 7, 12 games, he can come in and give you 15 to 20 minutes a game regular, and those be productive mintues. He also does add a dimension, to a degree, that the Cavaliers didn't have last season, in that he is a big that can step out and hit from the outside. So while by no means did the Cavaliers just add a Hot Rod Williams type bench player to the mix, I do think they did add a guy in Kurz who will fit into his role nicely, and might even make a big shot or two for the Cavaliers this season, but we shall see.