Kyrie Irving's minutes will increase to about 36 minutes a game as a result of the trade that sent Ramon Sessions to the Los Angeles Lakers, coach Byron Scott said Friday.
Scott said the Cavs have followed the plan of gradually increasing Irving's minutes. Now they're about to go up again.
"I don't know if Ramon would have been happy playing 10 or 12 minutes a night," Scott said. "I think he was pretty happy with the role because he was playing 20 minutes a night, but as this young guy gets better, the demands on him from me are going to get even higher. That means minutes and everything else. Again, in the long run, I think this was definitely the best thing for us. In the short term, which to me is the next week, the next four games, we'll see how it pans out."
The Cavs signed Donald Sloan out of the Development League on Friday as the new backup point guard, but Scott said Daniel Gibson will hold the role for now untl Sloan is acclimated to the system. Still, Scott didn't rule out Sloan getting at least a few minutes Sunday against the Hawks.
Sloan played in eight games with the Erie BayHawks, averaging 22.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 7.4 assists. He spent time previously this season with the Hawks, Sunday's opponent, before he was released and later signed by the New Orleans Hornets. Scott said the Cavs were interested in signing Sloan when they were in the market for a point guard, but he was already on an NBA roster. The Cavs signed Ben Uzoh instead.
They could've signed Sloan to a 10-day contract Friday, but opted to sign him for the rest of the season.
"To sign him for the whole season, that gives us (25) games to get a good look at him and decide if we want to bring him back for next year or not," Scott said.
Sloan was a senior and Irving's host when Irving took his official visit to Texas A&M as a high school senior. He was also on the Americans' Pan-Am Games team last year, which Cavs assistant Nate Tibbetts coached to a bronze medal.
"I have nothing but good things to say about him," Tibbetts said. He’s a great guy who’s going to work hard and help us be successful. ... There are a lot of guys in that (Development) League that can play. They just need an opportunity. Here (Sloan) is going to get some minutes. Let's see what he does."
Neither Jason Kapono nor Luke Walton, the two players the Cavs acquired in the deal, have joined the team. With the addition of Sloan, the Cavs' roster is a full 15 players. But Scott hinted that more roster moves could be coming and that the possibility remains the Cavs could again re-sign Manny Harris.
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