Archive for the ‘ Cleveland Cavaliers Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting on the Cleveland Cavaliers as they adapt to a new head coach and some very high-profile new players:

Mike Miller raves about Cavs coach David Blatt

David Blatt spent his first few weeks on the job downplaying his offensive ingenuity and reminding people he likes to coach defense, too. Yet after the first week of practice, it’s clear on which side Blatt has made an impression on this veteran team.

“His offensive stuff is borderline genius,” Mike Miller said this week. “Once we get a hold of it, it’s going to be a big weapon.”

Indeed, Blatt conceded the first handful of practices with the Cavaliers have been an offensive cram session in moving and spacing. Based on Wednesday’s Wine & Gold scrimmage, the Cavs are fast learners.

They moved well, spaced the floor properly and found a surprising rhythm given how little time they’ve spent together. Of course, they were only playing each other. The real tests will come once the exhibition games begin (the opener is Sunday against Blatt’s former team) and then when the regular season commences on Oct. 30.

Cavs sign Chris Crawford, Shane Edwards for training camp

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Chris Crawford and forward Shane Edwards, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Crawford played in 140 games (84 starts) over his four-year career at The University of Memphis with averages of 8.7 points, 3.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game. His 242 three-pointers made are tied for third in school history, while he also ranks fourth in total steals (223) and sixth in games played. The 6-4 guard went undrafted in this year’s NBA Draft and appeared in five contests for the Houston Rockets summer league team in Orlando with averages of 10.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.2 steals in 24.4 minutes per game.

Edwards signed a 10-day contract with Cleveland in 2013-14 when he played in two games with the Cavaliers after spending most of the season with the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers’ D-League affiliate. In 46 games (38 starts) with the Charge, he averaged 14.2 points on .551 shooting, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 28.8 minutes per game.

Cavs trade Keith Bogans to 76ers

Cavs trade Keith Bogans to 76ers

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired Philadelphia’s 2015 second round pick (protected) in exchange for  guard Keith Bogans and the Cavs 2018 second round pick in a trade with the 76ers, General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

As a result of the trade, the Cavs will receive a trade exception of approximately $5.3 million.

The 76ers pick acquired in the trade is 31-50 and 56-60 protected, if such pick is not conveyed to the Boston Celtics to satisfy a prior trade between Philadelphia and Boston.

Bogans, an 11-year veteran, has played in 671 career games (333 starts) with averages of 6.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 21.6 minutes for Orlando, Charlotte, Houston, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Chicago, Brooklyn and Boston. The 6-5 guard is also a career .353 shooter from the three-point line and .716 from the charity stripe. He has played in 36 postseason games with career averages of 4.4 points and 1.9 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game.

Louis Amundson signing with Cleveland

Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal blog reporting on the Cavaliers:

Louis Amundson signing with Cleveland

Lou Amundson signed a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Cavaliers, a league source confirmed. Although the Cavs’ rebuilt roster is filling up fast, the veteran journeyman stands a decent chance at making the final cut.

Amundson, 31, has already played for eight teams in eight years, averaging 3.6 points and 3.5 rebounds. But he is a gritty defender and could bring a certain toughness to the post. He’s listed at 6-foot-9 and 225 pounds, but the Cavs believe he can block shots and use his athleticism to defend at the center position despite being undersized.

Amundson’s offensive limitations have forced him to bounce around the league, yet the Cavs certainly don’t need any more scorers.

Melo supports LeBron return to Cavs

Here’s ESPN New York reporting Carmelo Anthony’s thoughts on LeBron James’ return to Cleveland:

Melo says return to Cavs was great move for LeBron

Anthony supports his buddy LeBron James’ move to the Cavs.

“I applaud him. I applaud him. I thought it was a great move for him,” Anthony said. “That’s not to take nothing away from what he’s already established and created down in Miami, but for him to go back home at this point in his career, you can’t ask for nothing better than that.”

Anthony didn’t want to talk much about the team James formed in Cleveland with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. The Knicks play the Cavs in Cleveland on the second game of the season — James’ first game back in his hometown.

“We’ll see them when we play them,” Anthony said. “They’re not on my radar right now. Don’t take that the wrong way. But they’re not on my radar. I’m focusing on one game at a time. When we play them the second game of the season, we’ll be ready.”

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting some insight from NBA commissioner Adam Silver:

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver isn’t denying Miami as a sexy market, but in his recent interview with Bloomberg Television he clearly did not have an issue with LeBron James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, citing NFL-style parity. “And so we want to build to be at that same point where 30 teams are all competing for championships,” he said in the wake of the Heat’s four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. “If, for example, in the NFL, when Green Bay’s playing Pittsburgh, the reaction isn’t, oh, that ‘they’re small markets,’ it’s that, ‘they’re storied franchises,’ ” he said. “And I think we’re beginning to see that in the league with teams like Oklahoma City, with the San Antonio Spurs, now, with the return of LeBron to Cleveland. And that’s what you want if you’re a commissioner. You want all of your teams to be competitive and you want them ultimately to succeed based on management, not who’s got the deepest pocket or what market is the most attractive.” Of course, it’s one thing for LeBron to return home to Cleveland, another for a top-tier free agent to aggressively pursue a future in Sacramento, Utah or Milwaukee.

Interesting PG options for Team USA

Here’s ESPN.com with an update on Team USA, who play an exhibition game Tuesday:

Kyrie Irving likely starting at PG Tuesday for Team USA

Kyrie Irving will start opposite Goran Dragic at point guard Tuesday night when Team USA plays Slovenia in its final tuneup game leading into the FIBA World Cup.

But Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, in tabbing Irving as his starter against the Dragic-led Slovenians, told ESPN.com that one option under consideration is letting Irving and Derrick Rose trade off as the starter throughout the tournament, which opens Saturday in Bilbao with the Yanks facing Finland.

“We’ll see as thing goes on,” Krzyzewski said after Monday’s two-hour practice. “We might alternate ‘em. Both of them are going to play significant minutes.”

Krzyzewski says he can also envision Irving and Rose playing together once the tournament starts as Rose continues to acclimate himself to full-speed basketball after two major knee injuries limited him to just 10 games over the past two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed forward Dwight Powell, the 45th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Powell played four years at Stanford, appearing in 136 games (105 starts) with averages of 10.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in 26.2 minutes per game. The 6-11, 240-pound forward from Ontario, Canada is a two-time First Team All-Pac 12 selection. He averaged 14.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals during his senior season and was the Pac 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Powell also played for Canada in the World University Games in the summer of 2013.

During the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer in Las Vegas, Powell appeared in three games (one start) for the Cavaliers and averaged 5.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in 11.3 minutes per game. He was originally acquired along with center Brendan Haywood in a trade with the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for guard Scotty Hopson and cash considerations on July 12, 2014.

cavs

The Cavaliers have finalized their coaching staff and named Jim Boylan, Bret Brielmaier, Larry Drew and James Posey as assistant coaches on head coach David Blatt’s staff, Cavs General Manager David Griffin and Blatt announced today. They join Tyronn Lue, who was named associate head coach earlier this summer. Phil Handy will also serve as Director of Player Development and Assistant Coach, along with Vitaly Potapenko, who has been tabbed to continue as the team’s Assistant Director of Player Development.

Boylan joins Blatt’s staff after serving as an assistant for the Cavaliers during their 2013-14 campaign. Prior to joining the Cavaliers, he spent five seasons as the lead assistant coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, with the last 50 games of the 2012-13 season as the interim head coach. Boylan began his NBA coaching career with the Cavaliers as an assistant in 1992 under Lenny Wilkins and has since worked as an assistant with Chicago, Vancouver, Phoenix and Atlanta.

Brielmaier returns for his second season in Cleveland, having joined the team last July for the 2013-14 campaign. Prior to last year, Brielmaier spent four seasons in San Antonio, most recently as the team’s video coordinator. A graduate of the University of Arizona, he played four years for the Wildcats before starting his coaching career as the undergraduate assistant in 2008. In 2009, he joined the staff of the Spurs as a player development assistant and later promoted to video coordinator.

Drew joins the staff after one season as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Prior to his stint with the Bucks, he spent three seasons as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, leading them to postseason appearances in each of those seasons. A first round selection by Detroit in the 1980 NBA Draft, Drew appeared in 714 career NBA games with averages of 11.4 points and 5.2 assists with the Pistons, Kansas City/Sacramento, L.A. Clipper and L.A. Lakers. The Kansas City native began his coaching career in 1992 and has served as an assistant coach with the Lakers, Pistons, Washington Wizards, New Jersey Nets and Hawks.

Posey joins the coaching staff after a successful first season as an assistant coach for the Cavaliers D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge. Posey, a 12-year NBA veteran, appeared in 864 career games with averages of 8.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals with the Nuggets, Houston, Memphis, Miami, Boston, New Orleans and Indiana. The Twinsburg, OH native also won two NBA Championships as a player with Miami (2005-06) and Boston (2007-08).

Handy returns to the staff after holding a similar role with the team last season. He joined the Cavaliers in 2013 after a two-year stint with the Lakers (2011-13). Prior to that, Handy spent five years as an AAU coach in Northern California. Over a 13-year period, he operated his own professional basketball training business, servicing NBA, European, college and many of the top-ranked high school players in the state. A former University of Hawaii basketball standout, Handy spent time in the NBA with Golden State and Portland, along with eight-years of playing experience overseas in Israel, France, England, Germany, Italy and Australia.

Potapenko returns to the staff as the Assistant Director of Player Development. Prior to joining the Cavs in July 2013, he spent the previous year as an assistant coach with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D- League. That season, his team posted a 32-18 record en-route to their first NBADL Finals appearance. Potapenko was selected 12th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1996 NBA Draft and spent his first three seasons with the team. Potapenko went on to have an 11-year NBA career with the Cavaliers, Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics and Kings, with averages of 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Shawn Marion to reportedly join Cavs

Where LeBron James goes, other players wouldn’t mind going as well. That LeBron will be playing with Kyrie Irving, and possibly Kevin Love as well should a trade go through, certainly helps as well. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Free-agent forward Shawn Marion has committed to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that Marion informed the Cavaliers this weekend that he intends to sign with them this month despite the fact that Cleveland can only offer him a minimum deal.

The chance to play with LeBron James and immediately compete for a championship, sources said, clinched Marion’s decision to choose Cleveland in the face of a ramped-up pursuit by the Indiana Pacers.

As ESPN.com reported earlier this week, Pacers president Larry Bird invited Marion to Indianapolis earlier this week for a face-to-face recruiting pitch over dinner, with Indiana in desperate need of veteran help on the wing after the season-ending compound leg fracture suffered by star swingman Paul George on Aug. 1.

Cavaliers sign center Alex Kirk

cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed free agent center Alex Kirk, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

An early entry candidate, the 7-0, 245-pound center went undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft after appearing in 101 games (86 starts) over three seasons at the University of New Mexico. He averaged 10.0 points on .488 shooting, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 25.3 minutes per game over his collegiate career, where he was also a two-time All-MWC Defensive Team selection. Last season, he averaged 13.3 points on .490 shooting from the field, 8.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 32.0 minutes per game, while receiving his second All-MWC Defensive Team honor.

During the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer in Las Vegas, Kirk played five games for the Cavaliers Summer League team entry and averaged 5.2 points on .524 shooting and 3.4 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game.

Here’s the Philadelphia Daily News with an update on what the expected Kevin Love trade may wind up looking like:

Eventual Kevin Love to Cavs trade will reportedly involve 76ers

While news came out yesterday that Minnesota and Cleveland had agreed in principle to a trade that will send All-Star Kevin Love to the Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round draft pick, the Daily News has learned that the Sixers will, indeed, be involved in the deal.

A source informed the Daily News that the Sixers will be sending veteran forward Thaddeus Young to Minnesota for a package that will include Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

The deal, which two sources have confirmed to the Associated Press, will not be official until Aug. 23, when Wiggins, this year’s No. 1 draft pick, becomes eligible to be traded.

A Kevin Love to Cavs trade is expected

Here’s Yahoo Sports with the latest on the Cavaliers and Timberwolves:

The Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement in principle to send All-Star forward Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Cleveland is making the deal with Minnesota with a firm agreement Love will opt out of his contract in 2015 and re-sign with the Cavaliers on a five-year, $120 million-plus contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The deal cannot be finalized until Aug. 23, because Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, cannot be traded until one month after the signing of his rookie contract. The two teams have agreed to the deal, but neither would have recourse if the other decided to pull out of the arrangement before it can be formally completed this month. No third team is involved in the Cavaliers-Timberwolves trade agreement.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting Kevin Durant’s reaction to news from earlier in July that LeBron James was taking his talented back to the Cleveland Cavaliers:

kevin durant

Kevin Durant made a point not to ask his friend LeBron James any questions. He gets enough of those already. And besides, James answered just about every question of him with the letter he penned in Sports Illustrated which explained his decision to leave the Miami Heat and come home to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But Durant did reach out to congratulate James soon after he announced his decision.

“I thought it was well-thought-out. It was classy. It was a great move to do it as a letter,” Durant said Tuesday, after a training camp session with USA Basketball. “That was pretty cool. It’s funny seeing guys think about more than just basketball for once. He thought about the city where he comes from, about Northeast Ohio and how he can affect so many of the kids just being there playing basketball. I love that. So many guys get criticized for making the decision that’s best for them instead of what’s best for everybody else. He’s a guy that did that. You gotta respect that. I applauded him, I texted him and told him congratulations on the decision and told him I was happy for him. As a fan of the game, it’s going to be pretty cool to see him back in Cleveland.”

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting:

LeBron James is finished with the Miami Heat. He’s also finished with the No. 6 he has worn during the past four NBA Finals and to celebrate his only two NBA championships.

As had been expected, James has elected to return this coming season to the No. 23 he wore during his initial tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers. James never wore No. 6 with the Cavaliers.

James made the announcement Sunday on Twitter, when he posted:

“23 it is! It’s only right I go back. 2·3=6 We still family 6.”

He also posted an Instagram collage of his career in No. 23, including a picture of his uniform in high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary. Accompanying those photos were hash tags that read: “#HomeTeam #StriveForGreatness.”

Most NBA teams have set aside No. 23 in honor of Michael Jordan, with the Heat having gone as far as to place Jordan’s No. 23 jersey in the rafters at AmericanAirlines Arena. The last Heat player to have worn No. 23 was Cedric Ceballos in 2001. Jordan’s No. 23 was formally retired by the Heat on April 11, 2003, at the request of Heat President Pat Riley.

Andrew Wiggins signs Cavs rookie contract

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed their 2014 NBA Draft picks, Andrew Wiggins and Joe Harris, to contracts, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Per NBA rules, rookies cannot be traded for 30 days once they sign their initial contract.

According to ESPN.com, “Wiggins has been involved in trade discussions between the Cavs and Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a deal that would send Kevin Love to Cleveland. Because of league rules on rookie contracts, such a deal now cannot be completed for 30 days. Wiggins, who signed a four-year deal, will have a starting salary of $5.5 million after the Cavs gave him the allowed 20 percent premium on the rookie scale, sources said.”

But for at least the next 30 days, and perhaps much longer, Wiggins is a member of the Cavaliers.

Wiggins was the first overall pick in the June draft. An early entry candidate from Kansas University, Wiggins, 19, was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-League in his only year at Kansas. In 35 contests with the Jayhawks last year, the 6-8, 194-pound guard averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 block in 32.8 minutes per game. In four games during the 2014 NBA Summer League, Wiggins averaged a team-high 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game.

Harris was selected 33rd overall after playing four years at Virginia where he was named Second Team All-ACC as a senior and First Team All-ACC as a junior. The 6-6, 225-pound guard averaged 12.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in 30.3 minutes for his career at Virginia (135 games). In four games during the 2014 NBA Summer League, Harris averaged 7.8 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 24.6 minutes per game.

Here’s ESPN.com sharing insight on LeBron James leaving the Miami Heat to return to the Cavs:

lebron james

Maverick Carter, LeBron James’ business partner, says he didn’t push James to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, nor did anyone else in the NBA superstar’s inner circle.

“This was a decision that LeBron made in his heart,” Carter told ESPN.com’s Jason Whitlock on the Real Talk podcast. “We didn’t push him to do it. We don’t push him to do anything. If he asks our opinion or what did we think about the pros and the cons, we help him think through it. We don’t push him.”

James decided to return to the Cavaliers on July 11 after spending four years with the Miami Heat. He opted out of his contract with Miami and signed a two-year deal to return to Cleveland, where he spent his first seven seasons in the NBA.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard John Lucas III and forwards Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy from the Utah Jazz in exchange for guard Carrick Felix, Cleveland’s 2015 second round draft pick and cash considerations, General Manager David Griffin announced tonight from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Lucas appeared in 42 games (six starts) for the Jazz in 2013-14 with averages of 3.8 points and 1.0 assist in 14.1 minutes per game. Over his six-year NBA career, the 5-11 guard out of Oklahoma State has played in 216 games (eight starts) with Houston, Chicago, Toronto and Utah, averaging 4.8 points and 1.4 assists in 12.2 minutes per game.

Thomas, a 6-9 forward from San Diego State, played in eight contests for Utah and San Antonio last season and averaged 1.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per game, while Murphy, a 6-10 forward out of Florida, appeared in 24 games for Chicago with averages of 0.3 points and 0.3 rebounds in 2.6 minutes per game in 2013-14.

Felix was selected by the Cavaliers in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2013 NBA Draft. He appeared in seven games and averaged 2.7 points, 0.9 rebounds and 5.4 minutes. He also appeared in nine games with the Cavaliers D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, where he averaged 11.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.4 steals in 28.7 minutes.

Here’s ESPN Chicago reporting Scottie Pippen’s reaction to LeBron James leaving the Miami Heat to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers:

Chicago Bulls great Scottie Pippen doesn’t know what it’s like to lose in the NBA Finals, but he figures LeBron James learned a lesson in doing just that for a second time in four tries with the Miami Heat.

After judging the slam-dunk championship at the Nike Chi League all-star festivities Saturday, Pippen was asked if he was surprised James left for the Cleveland Cavaliers following Miami’s one-sided loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals.

“I wasn’t surprised, I kind of figured he’d go back [to Cleveland],” Pippen said at Whitney Young High School. “I don’t know if he could hold that team up. I think [Dwyane] Wade’s physical ability had him thinking like, ‘Hey, maybe this is not the place I need to be.’

“It was a great run for them. They weren’t as successful as they thought they would be, but you went to the Finals four times, so you can’t hold your head down too much about that.”

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on Heat coach Erik Spoelstra as he comments on LeBron James leaving Miami and taking his talents back to Cleveland:

Erik Spoelstra comments on LeBron James leaving Heat

“He seemed at peace with the decision,” Spoelstra said. “We don’t have any regrets. He shouldn’t have any regrets. It was a historic four-year run.”

The move caught the Heat brass by surprise. James exited despite leading Miami to the NBA Finals four straight years, winning twice. His departure left the Heat scrambling to rebuild a roster via free agency that included the additions of Josh McRoberts, Danny Granger and Luol Deng. They also re-signed Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, who both opted out of their contracts with hopes of luring James to stay.

Last Friday, James revealed his time was up in South Florida.

“This league does teach you that it’s inevitable that there’s constant change and you always have to continue to embrace change, adapt with change,” Spoelstra said. “This is a big, monumental change that we didn’t necessarily anticipate but you have to respect it because when you’re a free agent in this league you have the right to make a decision that’s best for you and your family. When he made that decision that was best for his family, where his heart is, all you can do from our side is respond with respect and love.”

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