LeBron James isn’t pressuring the Cavs to make moves amid the absence of key players, observes Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Kevin Love is set to take part in a full practice for the first time this weekend, Vardon’s Northeast Ohio Media Group colleague Chris Haynes writes, but Kyrie Irving is still out, Iman Shumpert isn’t expected back for about three months, and Tristan Thompson remains unsigned.
“Until Kyrie and Tristan and Shump is ready, we have enough guys that will all help,” James said. “It’s not about me carrying the team and that nature. We’re all grown men, we’re all professionals and they’re here to do their job.”
While we wait to see if the Cavs can indeed overcome being shorthanded, here’s more from around the league:
- It’s unclear whether formal labor talks between commissioner Adam Silver and union executive director Michele Roberts have taken place, but Silver told Raúl Barrigón of HoopsHype that the two have remained in communication (All Twitter links). “We continue to talk all the time,” Silver said. “I think Michele Roberts and I both have the same goal which is to avoid any sort of work stoppage. And we know one of the ways to avoid a work stoppage is to talk early and often. And we’re doing that.”
- Top 2016 draft prospect Skal Labissiere has yet to receive NCAA clearance to play this season at Kentucky, his guardian tells Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. The NCAA has scrutinized the relationship between the guardian and the 7’0″ forward/center, Goodman hears, but it’s not clear if that’s the reason for the holdup. Labissiere is the top prospect in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings while Chad Ford of ESPN.com has him second.
- Dragan Bender impressed NBA scouts and executives with his play in exhibitions in Chicago and New York last week, according to Ford, who has the 17-year-old small forward at No. 3 in his ranking of the top 2016 draft prospects (Twitter links).
- Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari became the first players to sign renegotiations-and-extensions under the current collective bargaining agreement this summer, but with the cap rising, a greater chance exists that this rarely used contract tool comes into play more often, notes Nate Duncan of Nylon Calculus. Duncan examines potential renegotiation-and-extension scenarios for DeMarcus Cousins, James Harden and others, arguing that such a move would make sense for both Cousins and the Kings in 2017.