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.