CLEVELAND — The Golden State Warriors’ loss turned into a big gain for the Cavaliers.
Point guard Jarrett Jack agreed to a four-year, $25 million contract with Cleveland on Saturday, giving it one of the top backups in the NBA at the position. The deal, which includes a fourth-year team option, will be officially signed Wednesday.
The move occurred less than 24 hours after the Warriors renounced Jack’s rights — making him an unrestricted free agent — in order to clear room under the salary cap to sign Nuggets swingman Andre Iguodala.
With Jack now in the fold, the Cavaliers have arguably the NBA’s best 1-2 punch at point guard, headed by All-Star Kyrie Irving. News of the agreement was first reported by Contra Costa Times.
In an exclusive interview with David Aldridge of TNT/NBA.com, Cleveland general manager Chris Grant said, “We have liked him for years. He has toughness, he can shoot, he’s a vet. He should make our backcourt much stronger.”
Jack averaged 12.9 points and 5.6 assists in 79 regular season games for Golden State in 2012-13, shooting .404 on 3-pointers and .843 from the foul line.
The 6-foot-3 sharpshooter was even better in the playoffs, scoring 17.2 points with a .506 field goal percentage and an .896 free throw percentage as the Warriors reached the Western Conference semifinals.
Jack told Aldridge that he was “shocked” when Golden State renounced him, especially since Warriors officials didn’t have the courtesy to contact him before announcing the move.
“They expressed to me and my agent that I was their No. 1 priority when they met with me before July 1,” the 29-year-old said. “To the point of me not even getting a phone call, that’s probably the craziest part, but it is what it is.”
Jack was the No. 22 selection in the 2005 NBA Draft by Denver, but never appeared in a game with the Nuggets. The Georgia Tech product has played in 611 career contests over eight seasons with Portland, Indiana, Toronto, New Orleans and Golden State, earning a total of $24.92 million.
“Basically, the person that spearheaded the deal was (Cavaliers coach) Mike Brown,” Jack told Aldridge. “Chris Grant asked who he wanted, and the only person he brought up was me. To start off with a vote of confidence with the coach is big.”
Jack made $5.4 million last season with the Warriors, where he came off the bench in a three-guard rotation with rising stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. He frequently ran their offense at crunch time, made many momentum-swinging 3-pointers and ranks No. 41 in NBA history with an .852 career free throw percentage.
Once Cleveland agreed to terms with Jack, former Cavaliers backup Shaun Livingston accepted a one-year contract from the Brooklyn Nets. The 27-year-old point guard resurrected his injury-plagued career in Cleveland last winter, averaging 7.2 points and shooting .507 from the field in 49 games.
Contact Brian Dulik at email@example.com.