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The Cleveland Cavaliers announced today that the team has signed all of their 2013 NBA Draft picks, Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev and Carrick Felix, to contracts.

Bennett (6-8, 240, forward) was the first overall pick in the June draft and first-ever Canadian selected #1 in the history of the NBA. An early entry candidate from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), Bennett starred for Canada’s junior national teams and was the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year.

Karasev (6-7, 203, guard/forward) was selected 19th overall and led Russia to the Gold Medal in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia.

Felix (6-6, 210, guard/forward) was the third pick of the second round (33rd overall) following a senior season at Arizona State that earned him second-team All-Pac 12 honors and a spot on the Pac 12 All-Defensive team.

Kyrie Irving

Irving’s future in Cleveland has been a topic of conversation since a New York radio host insisted on Twitter that Irving wouldn’t remain in Cleveland for long. Irving dismissed the report during a Team USA minicamp last month in Las Vegas, saying he was excited about the moves the organization made this summer and that “I’m a Cavalier right now. I’m happy to be a Cavalier.” Irving was asked Saturday why he qualified that with “right now.”

“Right now I’m a Cavalier. This is where I am. All that future stuff, I’m not really worried about,” Irving said. “I’m living in the moment right now and I’m just trying to get better with the teammates I have now and make the playoffs for Cleveland. That’s the only thing I can do right now is give it my all as it stands right now and that future stuff, I’m not really worried about it.”

The Cavs control Irving’s rights for three more seasons, and it’s worth noting no player has ever turned down a max contract coming off his rookie deal.

Reported by Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal

Craig Ehlo released from jail

Former NBA player Craig Ehlo was released from jail Friday and ordered to stay away from family members and his rural Spokane County home.

Superior Court Judge James Triplet set Ehlo’s arraignment for Aug. 14 on a charge of first-degree reckless burning, a Class C felony, the Spokesman-Review reported.

Ehlo also was ordered to stay away from fire-starting materials and remain in Washington state.

His lawyer’s name wasn’t immediately available Friday night.

Reported by the Associated Press

Former NBA player Craig Ehlo arrested

Local basketball star Craig Ehlo, who starred in the NBA and most recently coached at Eastern Washington University, was arrested early Thursday on a domestic violence charge.

Spokane County sheriff’s deputies arrested Ehlo, 51, on charges of first-degree reckless burning, domestic violence, according to the sheriff’s office. He was booked into Spokane county jail at 7:36 a.m.

The charge is a Class C felony.

Reported by the Spokesman-Review

Cavs happy to have landed Sergey Karasev

One of the things David Griffin, Cavaliers vice president of basketball operations, said he loves about the organization is that the team’s ownership is “willing to invest in the process.”

It’s what allowed the Cavs to take time and to send multiple scouts to Europe to watch Sergey Karasev from St. Petersburg, Russia, play on junior national teams and in All-Star events on the international stage. That due diligence eventually led to the team targeting and then taking Karasev with the 19th pick in the first round of the NBA Draft.

“Throughout that process, what we were really excited about was his skill-set,” Griffin said Tuesday at Cleveland Clinic Courts. “His basketball IQ is excellent. He’s a very accomplished young player. To lead the Russian league in scoring at the age he did is unprecedented. He’s somebody, with his skill-set, [who] really spoke to us.”

Karasev, a 6-foot-7 left-hander with a good shooting stroke, according to many scouting reports, also has good court presence and is able to score with his right or left hand. That ambidexterity came about as Karasev shot with his left hand but off the court often lived as a righty.

Reported by Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal

New Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum is introduced in Cleveland

Andrew Bynum is officially a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The free agent center signed a two-year, $24 million contract at the team’s suburban training facility on Friday, and he was introduced by general manager Chris Grant.

Bynum sat out the entire 2012-2013 season with Philadelphia because of knee injuries, but said he will be medically cleared to practice by the start of training camp. He underwent surgery on both knees in March.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Dion Waiters will strictly play shooting guard for Cavs this season

Dion Waiters’ role will be simplified this season under Mike Brown. He’s the shooting guard, period. And the second word in that position is much more important to Brown than the first.

“I’m viewing him strictly as a 2-guard,” Brown said.

Former coach Byron Scott tried limiting Waiters to strictly shooting guard last year, but Waiters struggled adjusting to playing without the ball in his hands all the time, so Scott relented and allowed Waiters to run the point for long stretches. Brown is reverting back to making Waiters play off the ball, but made it clear the “guard” in his title is much, much more important than the “shooting.”

Reported by Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal

Cleveland Cavaliers sign Andrew Bynum

Cleveland Cavaliers sign Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum has struggled with injuries throughout his NBA career and didn’t play a single game for the Philadelphia 76ers last season, but talented centers will always be at a premium in today’s game. So, although no one is sure how good he even is at basketball right now, or how his health will hold up in the coming season, Bynum has a new NBA home.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed Bynum to a contract, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

According to multiple outlets, the deal is for two years, $24 million. And according to the Associated Press, “the Cavaliers guaranteed Bynum only $6 million in the first year of the deal, but he could earn an additional $6 million through performance incentives. Cleveland holds a $12 million team option for the second season.”

“We are very happy to welcome Andrew to Cleveland and the Cavaliers organization,” said General Manager Chris Grant.  “His talent, size and experience clearly have the potential to very positively impact our team. He has the ability to strengthen the foundation we are creating and continue to be very excited about. At the same time, we are fully aware of where he is in his journey to get back on the court and will provide every resource possible to support and enhance this process.”

Bynum was originally selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 10th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft out of St. Joseph H.S. in Metuchen, NJ.  In seven seasons, the 7-0, 285-pount center has appeared in 392 games with 300 starts, averaging 11.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.6 blocks in 26.0 minutes per game while shooting .566 from the floor. The 25-year old missed the 2012-13 season with knee injuries. The previous season, 2011-12, Bynum, a two-time NBA Champion, averaged career-highs of 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds for the Lakers and Head Coach Mike Brown, while being voted as a NBA All-Star starter for the Western Conference.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived forward Kevin Jones and guard Chris Quinn, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Jones played in 32 games this past season for the Cavs, averaging 3.0 points and 2.4 rebounds in 10.5 minutes per game.

Quinn played in seven games for the Cavs, averaging 1.4 points and 1.3 assists in 11.3 minutes per game.

cavaliers

The Cavs have added Jared Berggren from the University of Wisconsin to their summer league roster.

The 6-11, 240-pound center appeared in two games for the Orlando Magic in the Orlando Summer League earlier this month.

In four years at Wisconsin, he averaged 7.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 119 games.

He will wear number 37.

Jarrett Jack

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Jarrett Jack and forward Earl Clark to contracts, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

“Earl and Jarrett are both tough, competitive, team-first players that have the ability to impact the game in multiple ways on both ends of the court.  We think they are great fits for us that can help us grow and improve as a team and we’re looking forward to them joining our core,” said General Manager Chris Grant.”

Jack, 29, averaged 12.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 29.8 minutes in 79 games (four starts) for the Golden State Warriors last season. He scored a season-high 30 points  and added 10 assists in 42 minutes off the bench against San Antonio on Feb. 22nd . Last season, he scored 25 or more points five times and dished out 10 or more assists on nine occasions. The 6-foot-3, 197-pound Jack was drafted out of Georgia Tech by the Denver Nuggets with the 22nd overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft. The eight-year veteran has appeared in 611 total games (253 starts)  with career averages of 11.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 27.9 minutes. Since he entered the league, he has played in the 7th most regular season games of any player in that time period and only once in his eight seasons has he played in fewer than 79 regular season games.

“Jarrett brings the kind of drive, determination and energy that will help us greatly with everything we do and I am excited to have him be a part of what we’re trying to accomplish. He’s a vet that knows what it takes to win and the kind of player that has the talent and approach to the game that helps make everyone that plays with him better,” said Cavs head coach Mike Brown.

Clark, 25, averaged 7.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 23.1 minutes in 59 games (36 starts) for the Los Angeles Lakers last season. He scored a career-high 22 points on 9-12 (.750) shooting  and added 13 rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench at San Antonio on Jan. 9th . Last season, he also pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds to go along with 14 points against Boston on Feb. 20. The 6-foot-10, 225-pound Clark was drafted out of Louisville by the Phoenix Suns with the 14th overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft. He has spent time with Phoenix, Orlando and the Los Angeles Lakers during his four-years in the NBA and has appeared in 197 total games (37 starts)  with career averages of 4.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 14.1 minutes.

“Earl is a young, talented and versatile player who has the ability to contribute to our growth right away. He’s a long and capable defender and also brings offensive skills that can help us play the style of ball we want to play,” said Brown.

Report: Cavs offer Andrew Bynum a 2-year deal

A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Cleveland Cavaliers have offered free-agent center Andrew Bynum a two-year contract.

The Cavs made the offer Monday night, a deal that includes a team option for the second year.

The person who spoke to the Associated Press on Tuesday did so on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. Yahoo! Sports first reported the offer and said it was worth $24 million.

Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers interested in Andrew Bynum

Free agent center Andrew Bynum is in town today visiting the Cavaliers, a league source confirmed. ESPN.com first reported the visit.

Bynum missed all of last season with problems in both knees. He was originally diagnosed with a bone bruise in his right knee in September and received injections in both September and October. He injured his left knee during a bowling event in November and had surgery in March to clear debris from both knees.

The Cavs have between $12 and $15 million in cap space and are prepared to make a significant one-year offer that would consume most of that cap space. ESPN reported Bynum will also meet this week with the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks before making a decision.

Reported by Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal

Jarrett Jack is signing with Cleveland Cavaliers

Jarrett Jack still sounded a little surprised Saturday that he was no longer a member of the Golden State Warriors. But the veteran guard knows the NBA life leads to sudden changes, and so, he’s ready to move on to his next gig, in Cleveland, as a member of the Cavaliers.

The Cavs agreed to terms with the eight-year veteran, one of the top free agents on the market, on a four-year, $26 million deal that will be consummated after the NBA’s moratorium on signing contracts ends July 10.

Jack became available after the Warriors reached agreement Friday with free agent Andre Iguodala on a four-year, $48 million deal, forcing them to have to renounce their rights to Jack and forward Carl Landry (who agreed to a deal in Sacramento Saturday) when the moratorium ends.

The Contra Costa Times first reported the agreement between Cleveland and Jack.

Reported by David Aldridge of TNT/NBA.com

Earl Clark put his name on the NBA map last season, occasionally stepping up for nice stretches while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Clark is considered a player that teams should bring off the bench, but he’s shown flashes of being worth starting every now and then. He has drive and talent. And will put on a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey soon.

earl clark

The Cleveland Cavaliers have reached an agreement on a two-year contract with free agent forward Earl Clark, sources told ESPN.com.

The second year of the deal is a team option, according to a source.

The Sporting News reported the total value of the deal is $9 million.

Clark leaves the Los Angeles Lakers, who have been in a holding pattern with free agents as they wait for a decision from Dwight Howard, after averaging career highs in points (7.3) and rebounds (5.5) last season.

Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com

Marreese Speights declines player option with Cavaliers

Marreese Speights has decided that diving into free agency is a better option for him than playing out his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Speights today declined his player option on the final year of his contract with the Cavs, the team announced today. Speights had until June 29th to exercise the option. The five-year NBA veteran is now an unrestricted free agent.

Speights was acquired by the Cavaliers via trade with the Memphis Grizzlies on January 22nd, 2013. The 6-10, 255-pound forward/center appeared in 39 games (one start) for the Cavs where he averaged 10.2 points on .457 shooting, and 5.1 rebounds in 18.4 minutes. Speights has played in 344 games (61 starts) over his NBA career with averages of 7.8 points, on .472 shooting, and 4.4 rebounds in 16.4 minutes.

Anthony Bennett wasn’t really all that interested in playing basketball. Yeah, it was cool dunking on guys, and a great way to make new friends after moving from Toronto to the city’s suburbs.

Then, he decided to get serious about six or seven years ago.

His future was calling.

”I just started growing,” Bennett said, flashing a smile while talking about his unique path to the NBA. ”And everyone said, ‘You should probably play basketball.’ So I said, ‘All right. I’ll give it a shot.’ Look where it got me now.”

Look indeed.

Bennett was formally introduced Friday by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who shocked the draft by selecting the UNLV power forward with the No. 1 overall pick on Thursday night.

Although he wasn’t regarded by many draft experts as the best player available, Bennett was always at the top of Cleveland’s board. They scouted the 6-foot-7, 240-pounder extensively all season, fell in love with his game and after getting rave reviews about his character, chose him over Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, Kansas guard Ben McLemore, Georgetown forward Otto Porter Jr. in a flawed draft.

Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected UNLV freshman Anthony Bennett with the No. 1 pick Thursday night, making him the first Canadian to be the top choice and getting the NBA draft off to a surprising start.

The Cavaliers passed on big men Nerlens Noel and Alex Len, who went to Phoenix at No. 5, in favor of the forward who has starred for Canada’s junior national teams and was the Mountain West Conference player of the year.

There was suspense right until the end, either because the Cavs were unsure who they wanted or were trying to trade the pick. Most predictions had them taking one of the big men.

David Stern, booed heavily in his final draft as commissioner, added to the surprise of the moment by pausing slightly before announcing the Cavs’ pick, their first at No. 1 since taking All-Star Kyrie Irving in 2011.

Orlando passed on both of the big men, too, going with Indiana swingman Victor Oladipo with the No. 2 pick. Washington took Otto Porter Jr. with the third pick, keeping the Georgetown star local.

Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Once again, the Cavaliers are facing a major summer ”decision.”

The last one was hard to accept. This one is difficult to make.

And while it doesn’t quite stack up with LeBron James’ infamous announcement that he was bolting from home three years ago and leaving Cleveland heartbroken and short of a title, the Cavs are faced with the challenge of picking another top-flight player to get them back to respectability.

For the second time in three years and third time over the past decade, the Cavaliers hold the No. 1 overall draft pick.

This year, it’s both a blessing and burden.

With no player emerging as the consensus first choice, the Cavs, who also own the No. 19 pick and two second-round selections (Nos. 31 and 33) have spent the past month doing their due diligence by meeting with players, assessing their needs and weighing their many options.

They’ve discussed several trades to rid themselves of the top pick, move down and acquire veterans for one of the league’s youngest teams…

Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, Maryland center Alex Len, Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore, Georgetown forward Otto Porter Jr., UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett and Indiana guard Victor Oladipo are all in the mix and under consideration by the Cavs, who went 24-58 last season, finished 25 1-2 games out of first place and haven’t sniffed the postseason since James left.

Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press

Cavs and Bucks interested in Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks are among the teams that have expressed trade interest in Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.

But sources told ESPN.com that Pierce is most likely headed to neither one of those teams if he leaves the Celtics this week.

The Celtics do remain hopeful of acquiring a first-round pick for Pierce this week in conjunction with Thursday’s draft. But sources said the Celtics have shown an inclination to try to work with Pierce to get him to a favorable destination — which essentially translates to a contending team — if they indeed decide to trade him by week’s end. The team faces a June 30 deadline to either pick up Pierce’s $15.3 million option for next season or buy him out for $5 million.

Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

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