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Sasha Kaun agrees to two-year deal with Cavaliers

By Jason Lloyd Published: August 22, 2015

The Cavaliers have agreed to a two-year contract with center Sasha Kaun, a leauge source confirmed to the Beacon Journal. Kaun will serve as a backup in a deep frontcourt.

Kaun, 30, was a 2008 second-round pick, but has spent his career overseas. He averaged 9.9 points and 4.5 rebounds last season for CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague.

Kaun was drafted 56th overall by the Seattle SuperSonics and immediately traded to the Cavs at the urging of scout Chico Averbuck, who predicted Kaun could be an NBA center after a few years of seasoning in Europe. That’s precisely how it transpired. At 7 feet and 256 pounds, he will join Anderson Varejao as a backup center to Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson.

Kaun’s signing will give the Cavs 14 guaranteed contracts for next season, including Thompson, who is still without a deal.

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J.R. Smith returning to Cavaliers

By Jason Lloyd Published: August 20, 2015

J.R. Smith is returning to the Cavaliers. Smith wrote on his Instagram account late Thursday he was returning, and a team source confirmed he intends to sign, but the deal isn’t yet completed.

Smith declined a player option that would’ve paid him $6.4 million for this season, then struggled securing another, more lucrative deal. He is expected to sign a two-year deal, a league source with knowledge of the agreement said, that includes a no-trade clause in the second year as triggered by the collective bargaining agreement.

“When I opted out of my contract, I wanted to understand the landscape of the NBA and where I fit best,” Smith wrote on his Instagram account. “The Cavaliers had things they needed to do in order to piece together a championship caliber roster. I ended up deciding that instead of potentially securing a larger deal elsewhere, I wanted to rejoin an incredible organization in pursuit of the ultimate goal, an NBA championship.”

Smith shot 39 percent on 3-pointers for the Cavs following a January trade, but he was suspended for two playoff games and vanished in the Finals when the Cavs desperately needed his offense. He shot just 29 percent against the Golden State Warriors, but will be the fourth option on offense when the roster is healthy and intact.

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Cavs to host three preseason games at Q, will also return to Cincinnati and Columbus

By Jason Lloyd Published: August 20, 2015

The Cavaliers will open their preseason against the Atlanta Hawks on Oct. 7 on the campus of Xavier University, launching a seven-game schedule that includes three games at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavs will host the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 13, the Indiana Pacers on Oct. 15 and close out the preseason at home against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 19. They also play at Ohio State on Oct. 12 (against the Memphis Grizzlies) and play at the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors. They will have a week off between the end of their preseason and their season opener Oct. 27 at the Chicago Bulls.

Tickets for preseason games in Cleveland start at $15 and will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10. They can be purchased at Drug Mart locations, online at Cavs.com or at the Q box office. There is a limit of six tickets per person.

 

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Cavs open season at Chicago Bulls, will face Warriors on Christmas Day

By Jason Lloyd Published: August 12, 2015

The Cavaliers will open the season at the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 27 and play at the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, the league announced Wednesday in releasing the schedules for all 30 teams. It’s the second time in as many years the Cavs will play a road game on Christmas Day.

The defending champion Warriors come to Quicken Loans Arena for their only visit Jan. 18 in a Martin Luther King Day rematch of last season’s NBA Finals, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder come to town Dec. 17 for their only visit while Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers make their only visit on Feb. 16.

The Cavs will play 25 games on national television, including the Oct. 30 home opener against the Miami Heat.

While the league was busy unveiling the schedule, LeBron James was back on the basketball court. James participated in Team USA’s workout in Las Vegas, although he wouldn’t commit to another Olympic appearance next summer.

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Explaining NBA trade exceptions, what Cavs accomplished by moving Mike Miller and Brendan Haywood

By Jason Lloyd Published: July 26, 2015

Since there seems to be confusion surrounding trade exceptions, here is a simple primer. The Cavs dug two holes tonight in trading Brendan Haywood and Mike Miller to the Portland Trail Blazers. One can be filled by a player (or players) making up to about $10.6 million in salary and the other by a player (or players) making up to $2.95 million in salary.

Put another way, there's this: 

 

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Free agent forward Richard Jefferson agrees to deal with Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: July 21, 2015

Richard Jefferson is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Cavaliers for the veteran’s minimum, a league source confirmed. Jefferson, 35, shot 43 percent from 3-point range primarily as a reserve last season with the Dallas Mavericks.

Jefferson was widely expected to return to the Mavericks, but when their deal with free agent center DeAndre Jordan fell through, the Mavs allowed their other free agents to shop elsewhere again if they could find a better situation to win.

Jefferson chose the Cavs and will fill the spot vacated by the retirement of Shawn Marion, who coincidentally also came to Cleveland last season from the Mavericks. Jefferson will serve as a backup small forward to LeBron James after he appeared in 74 games last season, including 18 starts with the Mavericks. He averaged 5.8 points per game and is a career 38 percent 3-point shooter, although he has shot better than 40 percent each of his last two years. This will be his fifth team in as many years. 

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LeBron James wins ESPY for Best Championship Performance despite losing NBA Finals

By Jason Lloyd Published: July 15, 2015

LeBron James won an ESPY Wednesday night for Best Championship Performance despite the Cavaliers losing the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

James averaged 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists, becoming the first player in history to produce those numbers in a Finals series. He narrowly missed winning the Finals Most Valuable Player award in a losing effort, losing to the Warriors’ Andre Iguodala by a 7-4 vote.

James, who attended Wednesday’s event, seemed genuinely surprised by the win.

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Cavs GM David Griffin hopeful of eventually signing Thompson, wants to better use Love next year

By Jason Lloyd Published: July 12, 2015

LAS VEGAS: Cavs general manager David Griffin is hopeful a deal with Tristan Thompson will eventually be struck, although it’s clear the sides remain apart, he believes there are more opportunities to use Kevin Love’s skillset within the offense and he’d like to find a wing to back up LeBron James and ease some of his burden.

Griffin addressed all of these issues and more (Kyrie Irving, Love and Anderson Varejao should all be healthy for the start of training camp) in a wide-ranging interview Saturday night during summer league. But the most pressing issue is Thompson, who remains a restricted free agent and unsigned.

Griffin all but confirmed an earlier report the Cavs were offering Thompson around $80 million when he said the Cavs will have three max players on the roster and “one near max player.” Thompson would qualify as the near max player, but the two sides have failed to reach an agreement two weeks into free agency. Griffin said he hopes the two sides can strike a deal.

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Joe Harris struggles again, Cavs fall to Nets 76-75 in summer league

By Jason Lloyd Published: July 12, 2015

LAS VEGAS: Joe Harris missed a shot at the buzzer, when he appeared to be fouled, and the Cavs fell to the Brooklyn Nets 76-75 in their second summer league game of the season Saturday night.

Harris’ tough start to summer league continued with another 2 of 10 shooting performance. He scored eight points and committed three turnovers, although he seemed to be fouled on the final shot with no call.

Second-round pick Rakeem Christmas had eight points and four rebounds on 2 of 4 shooting after a 1 of 9 debut on Friday. Fellow second-round pick Sir’Dominic Pointer had four points and three rebounds.

Jerrelle Benimon, a second-year forward out of Towson, had 11 points and 12 rebounds as the starting power forward.

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Harris, Christmas struggle shooting, Cavs fall to Warriors 83-75 in summer league

By Jason Lloyd Published: July 11, 2015

LAS VEGAS: Joe Harris and Rakeem Christmas, two of the more recent draft picks for the Cavs, combined to shoot 3 of 19 and the Cavs fell to the Golden State Warriors 83-75 Friday night in their first summer league game.

Harris scored six points, shot 2 of 10 and missed all four of his 3-point attempts. Christmas, drafted 36th overall last month, scored six points, shot 1 of 9 and grabbed one rebound as the starting center.

Summer league invite Tyler Haws scored 12 points and made all three of his 3-point attempts and Keifer Sykes scored 11 for the Cavs, who play the Brooklyn Nets Saturday night (10 p.m. EDT). 

Sir'Dominic Pointer, drafted 53rd overall, had three points, three rebounds and two blocks, although he committed four turnovers in 16 minutes.

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