Central Notes: Monroe, Cavs, Pistons

Jared Cunningham, who is one of six camp invites fighting for a spot on the Cavs‘ 15-man regular season roster, is separating himself from the pack, head coach David Blatt said, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. Cunningham is averaging 20.5 points per game through Cleveland’s first two preseason games.

Including Tristan Thompson, who remains unsigned, the Cavs have one open roster spot, but Blatt hinted that two spots might be available, Haynes adds. While it is still early, Cunningham seems to have the advantage over the competition, according to Haynes.

Here’s more from around the Central Division:

  • There’s a strong chance Richard Jefferson will be a solid backup to LeBron James and play well enough to keep the superstar fresh for the playoffs, Haynes writes in a separate story. Jefferson signed with the Cavs on a one-year deal.
  • Greg Monroe, who signed a three-year, $50MM contract with the Bucks during the summer after playing last season in Detroit for a qualifying-offer salary, is quickly making strides toward fitting in on the court with his new teammates, Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel details. Monroe is fond of how the Bucks share the ball and said he is trying to get into position to get some early post-ups and kick out the ball to his teammates, according to Gardner. “I think I fit in with the guys,” Monroe said. “I know I made the right decision. I’m not questioning that. Now is just time to get better with the team so we can do something together.”
  • It will be pivotal to the success of the Pistons if Ersan Ilyasova can rebound consistently, especially with Monroe’s departure, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press writes.
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