Cleveland used part of the non-taxpayer MLE on Pangos, who will be guaranteed about $1.67 million for the upcoming season.
The second year of the deal will pay Pangos $1.75 million — though as Smith noted, won’t become fully guaranteed until the NBA-wide date of Jan. 10, 2022.
Pangos, 28, is 6-foot-2 and has been considered one of the best all-around guards in EuroLeague, capably handling both backcourt positions.
The Cavs had been looking to add depth in the backcourt, even after making a trade for veteran point guard Ricky Rubio. With less than a dozen players on guaranteed deals, they had the flexibility to add a low-risk, high-reward type of player such as Pangos.
Of the players on Cleveland’s roster, Damyean Dotson, Lamar Stevens, Dean Wade and Mfiondu Kabengele all possess non-guaranteed contracts. Pangos could serve as both a third point guard to Darius Garland and Rubio, and backup to shooting guard Collin Sexton.
A native of Canada, Pangos went undrafted after four seasons at Gonzaga in 2015, when he was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year.
In 39 games with Zenit, he averaged 13.9 points and 6.7 assists, and made it clear he was eyeing the NBA following the season.