It’s a little too much to say this move was presumed, given how long it took to materialize, but it also comes as no surprise: Cannon’s role diminished as a junior, and it was tough to see a path to carving out a more significant role as a senior.
It’s technically possible that a player in the transfer portal could return, but that’s not expected with Cannon.
Cannon nearly transferred a year ago after Ernie Kent was fired, entering the portal and looking around at his options, but he eventually decided to return to the program. It was considered a big pickup at the time, but Cannon’s junior season didn’t really work out the way anyone envisioned: He missed a number of games with injuries, and even when he was healthy, his minutes were slashed as he struggled to find his place in the lineup.
Smith had said he envisioned Cannon as his “Kyle Weaver,” a nod to Cannon’s obvious defensive potential, given his athleticism. Under Kent, Cannon had put together a couple of breakout offensive performances in his first year in Pullman, topping 20 points twice and hitting double figures 12 times. It seemed like those two things could combine to make him a key contributor.
But that potential didn’t materialize last season, as Cannon never seemed able to establish a role as an effective cog in the offense, eventually ceding most of his minutes to freshman Noah Williams. He ended up playing less than half as many total minutes and averaging half as many points (only 3.8), starting just two games (compared to 21 the year before). The most he scored was 14 points in a November win over Old Dominion, and he only reached double figures one other time.
Given everything that’s going on right now, it’s tough to read the tea leaves on the timing of this move, but since it frees up a scholarship, it would hardly be shocking if WSU added another player to the roster sooner rather than later— the Cougs have been linked to a number of grad transfers in the offseason, particularly point guards.
Here’s how the scholarship situation stacks up now:
Best of luck to Cannon, who — by all accounts — was an excellent teammate and a positive contributor to the program in his two years.