Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs Notes: Anthony, Smith, Dunleavy, D-League

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is hoping his friend J.R. Smith can work out his contract situation in time to receive his championship ring on opening night, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. New York will be the opponent when Cleveland starts its season October 25th, but Smith’s presence is far from guaranteed. The veteran shooting guard has been in a contract impasse with the Cavaliers all summer, reportedly wanting a $15MM annual salary, while the team wants something in the $10MM to $12MM range. Word broke this week of an “aggressive” offer by the Cavs, but the situation remains unresolved. “I don’t know what’s going on over there with that,” Anthony said. “I hope they don’t prolong the situation. He helped them win that championship. He was a major part of that team, and I hope they can get something done. If not, we’ll see him somewhere else.’’

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • After being with four other teams in his 14 NBA seasons, Mike Dunleavy is overjoyed to wind up with the Cavaliers, writes Sam Amico of AmicoHoops. Cleveland acquired Dunleavy in a deal with the Bulls when Chicago was trying to clear cap space to sign Dwyane Wade. The veteran swingman described the trade as “Christmas in July.” The Cavs plan to use him as a shooter to stretch the floor alongside LeBron James, and in combination with Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye to have three tall shooters on the floor at the same time. “I see myself being involved in whatever way, shape or form we need,” Dunleavy said. “It’s as simple as that. I can play a lot of different roles, anything necessary to get these guys back to the mountain top. Basically, Coach [Tyronn] Lue can use me however he wants. I’m just happy to be here.”
  • James can expect to see reduced minutes this season, as well as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, according to Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. After two consecutive seasons that stretched into late June, the Cavaliers will be emphasizing rest. Measures will include monitoring players’ energy levels and staying longer in cities after road games. “My thing is just making sure guys are healthy, continue to limit LeBron’s minutes … watch Kyrie’s minutes because we know we’re playing for something big,” Lue said. “We know when we get to the playoffs it’s going to require a lot of minutes so with those guys and with Kevin [Love], just have to watch guys getting to the red zone.”
  • Nate Reinking was named coach of the Cavaliers’ D-League affiliate in Canton, according to D-League Digest (Twitter link). He has been an assistant with the team since 2013.

Community Shootaround: Cavs’ Point Guard Situation

When the Cavaliers announced their training camp roster on Monday morning, veteran point guard Mo Williams was one of the 20 players on the list. However, just hours later, general manager David Griffin informed the media that Williams’ agent had let him know his client had decided to retire rather than playing for one more year.

Williams’ decision puts Cleveland in a difficult spot. Currently, the only true point guards on the roster are Kyrie Irving and Kay Felder. Irving will play a lot, but the team will likely want to make sure he’s fresh for the postseason. Felder, meanwhile, is a 2016 second-round pick, and it’s not clear whether he’ll be able to play meaningful minutes out of the gate in his rookie season.

Given the Cavs’ lack of depth at the point guard spot, it comes as no real surprise that the club is considering adding a veteran player. According to a Monday evening report, Cleveland has been in touch with free agent guards like Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, and Kirk Hinrich.

Of course, the Cavs can also rely on LeBron James to handle the ball for parts of each game, and the team does have a couple other combo guards on its roster, in Markel Brown and Jordan McRae. Brown and McRae certainly aren’t prototypical point guards, and neither player is a lock to make the roster, but if the Cavs like what they see in camp from one of those two players, they could carry them into the regular season, and perhaps count on them to spell Irving and Felder for a few minutes per game.

What do you think? Should the Cavs feel comfortable counting on Irving, Felder, and one of their other in-house guards to handle the point guard load, along with LeBron? Or does it make more sense to add a third true point guard to their roster, providing some veteran depth, as well as a safety net in case Felder isn’t ready to handle a key rotation role immediately? If they add a veteran, which player would be the best fit: Cole, Chalmers, Hinrich, or someone else?

Take to the comments section below to share your opinions on the Cavaliers’ point guard situation. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Cavaliers Have NBA's Oldest Roster

  • The Cavaliers have the oldest roster in the NBA, but don’t view that as a problem heading into the 2016/17 season, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. Meanwhile, as Aaron McMann of MLive.com details, the Pistons are on the other end of the spectrum, with one of the youngest teams in the NBA, and will be looking for players to assume leadership roles this year.

Cavs Consider Adding Point Guard Depth

With Mo Williams announcing his retirement earlier today, the only true point guard on the Cavaliers’ roster to back up Kyrie Irving is rookie Kay Felder. Despite GM David Griffin saying that the team is “comfortable” with the point guard spot, Cleveland is seeking to bolster the position via free agency, Joe Vardon of The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports. To that end, the Cavs have been in contact with Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, and Kirk Hinrich, Vardon adds.

We feel very comfortable with where we are at the point guard position, the versatility that we have to absorb that,” Griffin told the media. “We have other people that can guard the position. Because of LeBron James, we have additional people that can also play the position offensively, and frankly we’re really excited about finding out what some of the younger players on our roster can do. This is a training camp that for the first time since I’ve been here I think will be incredibly competitive, relative to roster spots themselves, and we’re really excited about the guys that we have in camp who have a chance to earn a job.”

The Cavs have been in contact with all three of the players mentioned above, anticipating Williams hanging up his sneakers and retiring, a source told Vardon. But the team appears to be in no rush to sign anyone, preferring to let Felder get some experience in training camp and to see if coach Tyronn Lue can make his rotation work without adding a new player to the mix, Vardon relays.

Cole has also drawn interest from the Sixers and Nuggets, Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net relays (via Twitter). The 27-year-old made 45 appearances for the Pelicans last season, averaging 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 26.6 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .405/.324/.800.

Chalmers was James’ teammate when LeBron was a member of the Heat. The 30-year-old made 55 appearances for the Grizzlies last season prior to tearing his Achilles in March. He was subsequently waived by the team. Chalmers notched averages of 10.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 22.8 minutes per night. His slash line was .417/.326/.827

The 35-year-old Hinrich is the oldest of the trio mentioned. He split time between the Bulls and Hawks in 2015/16, making a combine 46 appearances and averaging 3.0 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 13.7 minutes per night. His shooting numbers were .380/.387/.938.

Cavs Have Made “Aggressive” Offer To J.R. Smith

The Cavaliers officially announced their training camp roster today, and J.R. Smith‘s name wasn’t on it. A key piece of last year’s championship team, Smith remains unsigned as camp begins, but GM David Griffin said today that Cleveland has made the veteran guard an “aggressive” offer and hopes Smith rejoins the team soon, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net (Twitter link). Griffin also called the club’s offer “incredibly competitive,” per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

While the details of the Cavs’ offer to Smith aren’t known, the unrestricted free agent has reportedly been seeking an offer in the $15MM-per-year range, with the Cavs preferring something in the neighborhood of $10-12MM. Assuming those reports are accurate, the team’s latest offer likely gets a little closer to Smith’s rumored asking price.

The Cavs announced a full 20-man roster earlier today, but they have since removed one player from that list, as Mo Williams decided to retire. Of course, if Smith and the Cavs reach an agreement, the team wouldn’t hesitate to part ways with one of its non-guaranteed camp invitees to make room, if necessary.

While the Cavs wait to see how Smith responds to their contract offer, the team took part in media day on Monday, and one veteran free agent who re-signed with the team this summer indicated that he still has a couple more seasons left in him. James Jones, who is entering his 14th NBA season, said today that he’d like to play 15 years, according to Amico (Twitter link).

Jones is currently on a one-year, minimum-salary deal with the Cavs, so if he wants to play in 2017/18, he’d have to sign a new contract a year from now, with Cleveland or another club.

Mo Williams To Retire

Five days ago, Mo Williams posted a tweet indicating he was returning to the NBA – and to the Cavaliers – for one more year. Apparently that’s no longer the case. According to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net (via Twitter), Cavs GM David Griffin announced today that Williams’ agent informed him of his client’s decision to retire.

Williams, the 47th overall pick in the 2003 draft, spent a year in Utah before heading to the Bucks and blossoming into a starting point guard. Over the course of his 13-year NBA career, Wiliams also played for the Cavaliers, Clippers, Trail Blazers, Timberwolves, Hornets, and enjoyed second stints with the Jazz and the Cavs.

An All-Star in 2009, Williams averaged 13.2 PPG, 4.9 APG, and 2.8 RPG for his career, shooting 37.8% on three-point attempts in his 818 regular-season contests. The 33-year-old also appeared in 62 playoff games, winning his first championship with the Cavs this June.

Williams had been set to earn $2,194,500 for the 2016/17 season, so we’ll see how the Cavs handle that cap hit. The team may end up just waiving the veteran guard, eating his salary, but perhaps the two sides can work out a buyout agreement that takes Cleveland off the hook for some of that $2MM+.

Meanwhile, Williams’ departure thins out the point guard ranks for the Cavs. Behind Kyrie Irving, the team will be relying on rookie Kay Felder and perhaps camp invitee Markel Brown, though he’s more of a combo guard. For what it’s worth, Griffin says the Cavs are “comfortable” with the point guard position, adding that it will be a “an incredibly competitive” training camp (Twitter link via Amico).

Cavs Sign Jonathan Holmes, Finalize Camp Roster

The Cavaliers have officially announced their camp roster, and there’s one new name on the list of 20 players. According to Cleveland’s announcement, the team has signed 6’9″ forward Jonathan Holmes to its roster for camp.

Holmes, who played his college ball at Texas, went undrafted in 2015 after his final season with the Longhorns. He joined the Lakers for training camp, and suffered a dislocated right shoulder before the season began. While the injury sidelined him for the next several months, it did ensure that he earned his full salary for the 2015/16 from Los Angeles.

In Cleveland, Holmes likely won’t make the team’s 15-man roster for the regular season, but it’s possible he’ll end up being assigned to the club’s D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge. I’d expect his deal to be a minimum-salary pact that contains little to no guaranteed money.

As for the Cavs, their announcement today confirmed several previously-reported signings — agreements with players like John Holland, Dahntay Jones, and Cory Jefferson are now official. Cleveland is also carrying the maximum allowable 20 players, and J.R. Smith‘s name isn’t among them, though of course that doesn’t prevent the two sides from eventually working out a deal.

Backup Point Guard A Concern; Latest On J.R. Smith

  • The Cavaliers are counting on 33-year-old Mo Williams and second-round pick Kay Felder to replace Matthew Dellavedova, notes Bobby Marks of The Vertical. In his “Summer Rewind” on Cleveland, Marks says the Cavs made a wise move by orchestrating a sign-and-trade after Dellavedova committed to the Bucks, creating a $4.8MM trade exception in the process.

Dahntay Jones To Rejoin Cavs At Training Camp

Veteran shooting guard Dahntay Jones has agreed to join the defending champion Cavaliers for training camp on a non-guaranteed contract, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

The 35-year-old Jones was signed by Cleveland just before the end of the regular season this spring. He appeared in one regular-season game, then saw spot duty in 15 postseason games. He scored five key points late in the first half of Game 6 during the NBA Finals.

Jones was released in late July, just before his $1.55MM contract for this season would have been guaranteed.

Jones attended LeBron James mini-camp in Santa Barbara, California earlier this week, according to Vardon.

The Cavaliers have just 12 players with guaranteed contracts and two others with non-guaranteed deals. However, that does not include starting shooting guard J.R. Smith, who is expected to eventually re-sign with the team. The Cavaliers already have plenty of other veterans along with James at the wing positions, including Richard Jefferson, Iman Shumpert, Mike Dunleavy and James Jones, which means Dahntay Jones could have difficulty making the opening night roster.

The journeyman guard’s career dates back to 2003/04, when he played for the Grizzlies. He’s also played for the Kings, Nuggets, Pacers, Hawks, Mavericks and Clippers.

Lue: Cavs Miss J.R. Smith At Mini-Camp

The Cavaliers‘ mini-camp has gotten underway in California, with coaches and players in attendance, but one member of last year’s championship roster is noticeably absent, as Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com details. Head coach Tyronn Lue tells Vardon that the team misses J.R. Smith, who remains unsigned.

“I mean, you can feel it,” Lue said. “J.R., he’s the heart and soul of [the Cavaliers]. Usually when it’s anything involving the team, J.R. would be there and would be right in the middle of it. You’d hear him laughing or if it’s work, he’d be out there giving it his all. It’s hard.”

As we heard earlier this week, Smith isn’t in California with the rest of the Cavaliers, since contract talks between the two sides remain at an impasse. According to Vardon, it seems unlikely that Smith and the Cavs will reach a deal by the time the team meets the media on Monday for the start of training camp.

Get the hottest NBA news and rumors before anyone else! Follow us on Twitter to stay updated: