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Cavs trade Joe Harris to Magic

Cavs trade Joe Harris

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired the Portland Trail Blazers’ protected 2020 second round pick from the Orlando Magic in exchange for guard Joe Harris, the Sacramento Kings’ 2017 protected second round pick, owned by the Cavaliers, and cash, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today.

This season, Harris appeared in five games for the Cavs and 10 games for the Canton Charge.

He was originally selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round (33rd overall pick) of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Today, Harris underwent successful surgery in Indianapolis on his right foot for excision of 5th metatarsal apophysis.

The Cavs roster now stands at 14.

Here’s Cleveland.com reporting on veteran Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao, who has struggled with injuries for many years but this season is healthy yet spending most of his time on the bench, playing just 8.8 minutes per game:

Anderson Varejao getting little playing time on Cavs this season

The 33-year-old big man has seen a dramatic reduction in his playing time this season. His statistics all across the board are the lowest of his 12-year career. He has not seen action in eight of his last 10 games.

Despite being fully recovered from an Achilles’ tendon injury he suffered last year, he hasn’t been able to crack the rotation.

“Of course, it’s not easy,” Varejao said. “It’s a different season for me. I said at the beginning of the season that my goal was to stay healthy and help this team. I’m not getting a lot of playing time, but I know the season is a long season. We still have the playoffs coming and anything can happen. I just have to stay ready and help the team when coach needs me.”

His focus on the postseason is telling in that he believes he’ll still be a Cavalier after the Feb. 18 trade deadline.

Since recently returning to action from last season’s injury, Kyrie Irving is averaging a modest 13.0 points and 3.0 assists on disappointing 34% shooting for the 21-9 Cavaliers. Here’s Cleveland.com reporting the latest:

Kyrie Irving may soon receive more playing time

It was nearly two weeks ago when point guard Kyrie Irving made his much-anticipated season debut against the Philadelphia 76ers. Since that Sunday contest, Irving has been on a minutes restriction, yet to top 26 minutes in four games.

“We’re getting close to being beyond that,” Cavs head coach David Blatt said Friday when discussing Irving’s workload. “He’s pretty healthy. I don’t see him going out there and playing 40 minutes anytime soon. We’ve moved along pretty well, we’ve been pretty specific and committed to a certain path in terms of bringing him back.”

Part of the Cavs’ plan involved Irving getting rest during a challenging West Coast road trip, a stretch where the team played four games in five nights.

He missed the Portland game, one night after an exhausting game against the Golden State Warriors and sat out the finale against Denver on Tuesday.

Iman Shumpert day-to-day with groin strain

Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert experienced a right groin strain during the Cavaliers game Tuesday night in Boston. He is Out for tonight’s game in Cleveland vs. Oklahoma City and will continue to receive treatment. His status will be Questionable thereafter pending further evaluations.

Shumpert recently returned to action from injury and has played in just two games so far this season, coming off the bench both times. It’s likely that he may eventually return to the starting lineup. But for now, J.R. Smith has played 19 games and started all 19 of those outings at the shooting guard spot.

The Cavs are an Eastern conference-best 16-7 so far this season, and still waiting the return of point guard Kyrie Irving.

No love between Cavs and Celtics

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, who will probably not be getting together for the holidays this year:

There were certainly no pleasantries as the teams met for the first time since a painful Sunday in April when Cleveland completed a four-game, first-round sweep with a win at the Garden. Kevin Love dislocated his left shoulder in a tangle with Kelly Olynyk, and Jae Crowder suffered a sprained left ACL when his knees buckled following a wicked elbow from J.R. Smith.

Crowder said Monday he was hoping for an apology, but no such gesture was made by Smith as the Cavs handed the Celtics a more-thorough-than-the-numbers-would-seem-to-indicate 89-77 defeat.

And clearly the Clevelanders didn’t stop competing when the game was finished. While Love and Olynyk have agreed the latter intended no harm, there is still ill feeling on the other front.

“No, I like it,” Smith said about the physical game that saw him give a couple of hard fouls. “It wasn’t chippy enough.”

LeBron James pre-game music

Wonder which music LeBron James listens to before games? Here’s ESPN Cleveland reporting:

LeBron James pre-game music

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ pregame locker room is noisier this season than it was last season.

LeBron James has taken to turning on his portable speakers from Beats by Dre, a company he endorses, and playing tunes as he and his teammates stretch out and put on their uniforms.

Only it’s not the music that’s the noisy part. It’s the debates that the music sparks. The ribbing usually centers between two people: James and Jared Cunningham. While James picks the songs, Cunningham picks on the songs…

James’ playlist features artists such as Kanye West, Jay-Z, OutKast, Jadakiss, Lupe Fiasco and sometimes even Cleveland’s own Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Cunningham, meanwhile, prefers performers such as Ty Dolla $ign, Migos, Young Thug and Yo Gotti.

John `Hot Rod` Williams dies of cancer

Here’s ESPN.com reporting some very sad news about a well-known, talented former NBA player:

John “Hot Rod” Williams, one of the NBA’s best sixth men in the 1980s and ’90s, has died of cancer at his home near Sorrento, Louisiana. He was 53.

Williams’ agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed his death Friday.

Williams, a 6-11 power forward, played 13 seasons in the NBA but was best known for being a standout with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1986 to 1995. The news stunned former teammates and executives who had been encouraged when Williams came through an earlier cancer diagnosis this year.

“It’s devastating,” said Wayne Embry, the Cavs general manager from 1986-99. “He was a hard worker and a great player but I liked him more as a person than a basketball player.”

Iman Shumpert set to return for Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 14-7 this season, which through Thursday’s games is the 3rd best record in the league. And they’ve accomplished this without their starting backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert. The squad is about to get healthier, as reported by the Akron Beacon Journal:

Iman Shumpert set to return for Cavs

Iman Shumpert will be active tonight and is likely to make his season debut against the Orlando Magic.

Shumpert still needed to go through the morning shootaround and pregame warm-ups, but all parties (speaking before shootaround) sounded optimistic.

“If we go through shootaround and everything is straight,” Shumpert said, “I’m going to try to give it a go.”

Added coach David Blatt: “We’re hopeful he can get out there.”

david blatt

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ David Blatt and the Golden State Warriors’ Luke Walton today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in October and November.

Blatt guided the Cavaliers to an Eastern Conference-best 13-4 (.765) record for games played in October and November. After dropping their season opener to the Chicago Bulls, the Cavaliers reeled off eight consecutive victories from Oct. 28 – Nov. 13. The defending conference champion Cavaliers own a 9-0 record at Quicken Loans Arena, and rank sixth in the NBA in both scoring (103.1 points) and team defense, limiting opponents to 96.5 points.

luke walton

While filling in for head coach Steve Kerr (back surgery), Walton has led the defending champion Warriors to the best start in NBA history at 19-0. The Warriors lead the NBA in scoring at 115.3 points, and enjoy the largest point differential in the league at 15.4 points. Walton is in his second season on the Warriors’ staff, and previously served as a player development coach with the NBA D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders during the 2013-14 season.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Charlotte’s Steve Clifford, Indiana’s Frank Vogel, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, Oklahoma City’s Billy Donovan, Orlando’s Scott Skiles, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and Toronto’s Dwane Casey.

Hawks face Cavs on Saturday

Two of the best teams in the Eastern conference face off on Saturday. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:

The Cavaliers (9-3) lead the Eastern Conference, with the Hawks (9-5) in third place early in the new season. The Cavaliers are not going anywhere, it would appear. LeBron James carried them last season, and he could very well do it again.

The Hawks will face the Cavaliers without one, and possibly two, starters. Small forward Kent Bazemore (right ankle sprain) has been ruled out. Point guard Jeff Teague (left ankle sprain) is questionable.

The Cavaliers are injured themselves. Point guard Kyrie Irving (fractured left kneecap), guard Iman Shumpert (injured forearm), center Timofey Mozgov (right shoulder sprain) and guard Mo Williams (right lower leg soreness) all will not play. With Mozgov out, Tristan Thompson may start at center. He gave the Hawks fits in the postseason.

“Taking care of the defensive boards is something that is going to be important,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

Center Timofey Mozgov experienced a strained right deltoid during the second quarter of last night’s game against Milwaukee at The Q. Additional examination and MRI today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health confirmed the strain. Mozgov will be OUT approximately 10 days to two weeks.

Guard Mo Williams missed last night’s game vs the Bucks and received additional examination and MRI today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health, which showed posterior right ankle inflammation, along with continued soreness. He is listed as OUT for tomorrow’s game at The Q against Atlanta and doubtful for Monday’s contest vs. Orlando, also at The Q.

No LeBron, Blatt drama this season

Here’s Cleveland.com reporting on the Cavaliers, who at 9-3 are already a success this season and have the services of Kyrie Irving to eventually look forward to once he heals and is ready to play:

No LeBron, Blatt drama this season

Want to set off some Cavs fans?

Tell them about LeBron James and David Blatt.

The distrust. The undermining and second guessing. The disconnect.

It’s a sore subject for Cavs faithful. Either James shouldn’t treat his coach that way, or Blatt wasn’t right for the job, or the media shouldn’t bring it up.

This season, though, there hasn’t been any James-Blatt drama to discuss.

Hours before Cleveland beat the Milwaukee Bucks 115-100, turning in a solid-but-not-perfect performance after days of being ripped in public and private by James and Blatt, the Cavs superstar dropped a different kind of bomb.

“He does his job as great as any coach can do in this league,” James said of Blatt, following the team’s shootaround in the morning.

Cavs struggling from free throw line

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 8-3 this season; a very good start, especially considering the team is without the services of still-healing point guard Kyrie Irving. But things could be even better, as the Akron Beacon Journal reports:

While LeBron James continues to rip his teammates for their lack of effort and David Blatt says they need to get tougher, one of the more perplexing problems facing the Cavaliers in the early season has been free-throw shooting.

The Cavs enter Thursday’s rematch against the Milwaukee Bucks 29th in the league in foul shooting, ahead of only the Detroit Pistons. Poor free-throw shooting was a big reason for their two road losses to the Bucks and Pistons and the Cavs don’t have many explanations for the struggles.

“If I had the sure-fire answer to that I would be a genius,” Blatt said. “I guess I’m not.”

The Cavs are converting less than 69 percent of their free throws, a number that continues to trend in the wrong direction. They shot 58, 63 and 60 percent from the line in their past three games after converting 75 percent at the line last season — 18th in the NBA.

Obama expected at Bulls-Cavs game

It’s the opening night of the 2015-16 NBA regular season! Here’s ESPN.com reporting that a pretty famous fan will likely attend Bulls-Cavs tonight:

President Barack Obama, perhaps the most famous Chicago Bulls fan in the world, is expected to be in attendance for the Chicago’s season-opening game Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“He loves the game of basketball,” LeBron James said prior to the Cavs’ shootaround Tuesday morning. “We all know that. It’s an honor for me to be a part of a venue and a spectacle that the president would like to come and watch. It’s an honor for sure.”

James, who teamed up with Michelle Obama last week in Akron, Ohio, as a part of a higher-education initiative, said the First Lady did not tip him off about her husband’s plans.

Cavaliers waive Quinn Cook

The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived guard Quinn Cook, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

The Cavs roster now stands at 15.

Cook appeared in six preseason games for the Cavs, averaging 3.3 points and 2.2 assists in 12.9 minutes per game.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived forward Austin Daye, guard/forward D.J. Stephens, guard Dionte Christmas and Forward Jack Cooley, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. The Cavs roster now stands at 16.

Daye appeared in six preseason games for the Cavs, averaging 5.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game.

Stephens appeared in four preseason games for the Cavs, averaging 3.3 points in 7.4 minutes per game.

Christmas appeared in four preseason games for the Cavs, averaging 6.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game.

Cooley appeared in two preseason games for the Cavs, averaging 4.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have re-signed forward Tristan Thompson, General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

In a related move, the Cavs have waived forward Nick Minnerath.

According to multiple reports, Thompson’s deal is for $82 million over five years.

Thompson played in all 82 games (15 starts) in the 2014-15 regular season, finishing with averages of 8.5 points on a career-best .547 shooting from the field, and 8.0 rebounds in 26.8 minutes per game. It marked the third straight season he has played in all 82 games, increasing his consecutive games streak to 288 dating back to Feb. 10, 2012. That is the second-longest active streak in the NBA, behind only DeAndre Jordan’s 322 consecutive games played (dating back to March 25, 2011). Last season, the 6-10 forward ranked fifth in the NBA in total offensive rebounds (274) and fifth in offensive rebounds per game (3.3). He recorded 14 double-doubles, while tying for the NBA-lead in double-doubles off the bench with eight. Thompson also led all NBA bench players in total rebounds (511) and offensive rebounds per game (3.2), while ranking second in total rebounds per game (7.6).

During the Cavs’ NBA Finals run in the 2015 playoffs, Thompson played in all 20 games (15 starts), averaging 9.6 points on .558 shooting, 10.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 36.4 minutes per game. He registered nine double-doubles, while grabbing double-digit rebounds in 14 playoff games, including in all six games during the NBA Finals.

As the Cleveland Cavaliers enter their 45th anniversary season in 2015-16, they will do so with new threads that uniquely tie the team’s rich history with their electric present and exciting future. The Cavs will debut three new adidas alternate uniforms this season, each reflecting previous eras of Cavaliers basketball while also incorporating current-day trends. The new looks will rotate with four uniforms that continue from last season – home white, road wine, gold alternate and navy alternate.

Cavs waive Chris Johnson, sign Jack Cooley

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed forward/center Jack Cooley to a contract, General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

And in a related move, the Cavs have waived Chris Johnson.

Cooley (6-10, 250) appeared in 16 games for the Utah Jazz last season. He also played in 20 games for the D-League’s Idaho Stampede, averaging 16.8 points on .572 shooting, 12.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 30.8 minutes per game. Cooley played on the Cavs 2014 Summer League team.

Johnson appeared in four preseason games for the Cavs.

Tristan Thompson remains unsigned

Here’s Cleveland.com with the latest on the Cavaliers and unsigned free agent Tristan Thompson:

It’s the two-week mark of the Tristan Thompson holdout, which means it’s time to give an update on the proceedings.

There’s no communication ongoing between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Thompson’s agents, Rich Paul and Mark Termini, Northeast Ohio Media Group has learned.

In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency from either side in reaching an agreement. And that means Thompson’s stalemate will continue to hover over the organization like a black cloud, a cloud LeBron James considers “a distraction.”

It may be time to signal to the dugout for Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

Thompson’s presence on and off the court is sorely being missed. Internally, members of the Cavaliers have expressed to each other how it would be such an unnecessary hurdle to try to contend for a title without their best offensive rebounder and most versatile big defender.

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