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Beyond the arc: LeBron James shakes off strep; Deron Williams' signing brings Team USA reunion

By Marla Ridenour Published: February 28, 2017

Sights, sounds and observations from the Cavs' 102-95 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at Quicken Loans Arena. 

1. Comparing who was sicker after the game, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue or LeBron James, Lue was the obvious choice. He had faded considerably from his brief pre-game talk and he looked like he barely had enough energy to walk back to the locker room. The team will not practice Tuesday before flying to Boston in the afternoon for the start of a three-game road trip. Staffers were telling him to do nothing but sleep; Lue nodded his agreement that he needed whatever medications James had been on.

2. James had been down since Saturday with strep throat. He holed up at home, with his wife, mother and mother-in-law electing not to tell his three children he was there so he could stay away from them for the first 24 hours, when he was contagious.

3. James missed Saturday's game against the Chicago Bulls, rested during the off day Sunday and skipped Monday morning's shootaround. But he came to the arena and headed to the weight room, deciding he would let how he felt after a workout determine whether he would play against the Bucks.

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Andrew Bogut waived, but Cavs must fend off three others for big man

By Marla Ridenour Published: February 27, 2017

Andrew Bogut and the Philadelphia 76ers reached a buyout agreement on Monday and the 7-foot forward/center from Australia was waived.

But while a league source said the Cavs were the front-runners to sign Bogut, competition is expected after he clears waivers. ESPN's Marc Stein reported that Bogut will talk with Cleveland, Boston, San Antonio and Houston before making a decision on his destination.

The Rockets have over $3 million in salary cap space that would allow them to outbid the Cavs for the services of Bogut, who won the NBA title with the Golden State Warriors in 2015 and fell to the Cavs in The Finals in 2016. But if winning another championship is Bogut's top priority, playing with LeBron James might offer him the best route back to The Finals.

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Cavs' LeBron James, Kyle Korver to play Monday night vs. Bucks

By Marla Ridenour Published: February 27, 2017

Cavaliers star LeBron James, who sat out Saturday night's loss to the Chicago Bulls with strep throat, will play Monday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, coach Tyronn Lue said.

James was not at shootaround and was listed as questionable. Lue said during his pre-game press conference that James was in the weight room.

With James sidelined Saturday, the Cavs dropped to 4-19 since the start of the 2014-15 season without him. They are 0-4 this season when the four-time league MVP does not play.

Lue said shooting guard Kyle Korver will also play against the Bucks. Korver was  questionable with a sore right knee after falling awkwardly late in the fourth quarter against the Bulls. Korver participated in shootaround.

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Beyond the arc: Korver's 'scary' banged knee, LeBron's strep throat tests Cavs fans' psyches

By Marla Ridenour Published: February 26, 2017

In my debut as Cavs' beat writer, sights, sounds and observations from the Cavs' 117-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena:

1. Glass half empty fans, take a few deep breaths and remind yourselves it's only the regular season. Otherwise, Saturday's circumstances might get you down.

2. LeBron James stayed home with strep throat that could also compromise his chances of playing in Monday's home game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Kyle Korver took a frightening fall near the stanchion with 2:59 remaining that left him afraid to get up and prompted the medical staff's check of his right knee. And that's on top of starters J.R. Smith (thumb surgery) and Kevin Love (arthroscopic knee surgery) sidelined until mid-to-late March.

3. Just when you thought more help was on the way with ex-Dallas Mavericks point guard Deron Williams poised to sign after clearing waivers Saturday, Korver's brilliant shooting month may have come to a crashing halt, even if Korver wasn't sure what he hit.

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Deron Williams clears waivers, expected to sign with Cavaliers

By Marla Ridenour Published: February 25, 2017

Former Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams cleared waivers as the league's 5 p.m. deadline passed Saturday and is likely to be signed by the Cavaliers, a league source said.

ESPN's Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst first reported Williams made it through unclaimed, which a league source confirmed to the Beacon Journal.

Logistics may prevent the Cavaliers' signing from happening immediately, but it appears their long search for a backup point guard may soon end.

The Cavs had to suffer through some anxiety when three-time All-Star Williams hit waivers because of Williams' manageable $8 million salary. But the fact that Williams could join close friend Kyle Korver, a former teammate with the Utah Jazz, is another selling point for the defending NBA champions.

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LeBron James to miss home game vs. Bulls with illness

By Marla Ridenour Published: February 25, 2017

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said LeBron James will miss Saturday night's nationally televised game against the Chicago Bulls with an illness.

Lue said James was not at Quicken Loans Arena and that Richard Jefferson will start in his place. The absence of James and Jefferson's change in role will prohibit Lue from using his big second unit that features Kyle Korver, Derrick Williams, Channing Frye, James and Jefferson.

James did not participate in the morning shootaround and had been considered questionable.

The Cavs are 0-3 this season when the four-time league MVP does not play and 4-18 without him since the start of the 2014-15 season.

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Cavs 119, Knicks 104: Jason Lloyd's final, Final Thoughts

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 24, 2017

CLEVELAND: Twenty-three thoughts for 23 points from Kyrie Irving in Thursday’s 119-104 win over the New York Knicks…

1.     Forget about the trade deadline, now the real negotiating season is about to begin. The Cavs’ trade assets were always limited, particularly after they dealt their 2019 pick to Atlanta for Kyle Korver.

2.     The buyout market was likely always going to be their best option. In that regard, Thursday went as well as could be expected for General Manager David Griffin. Two of the targets he has long pursued, Andrew Bogut and Deron Williams, are both headed to free agency. Williams is already there and Bogut should be right behind him.

3.     Williams was released by the Mavericks in another good-faith move by owner Mark Cuban. When DeAndre Jordan’s free agency unraveled on Cuban prior to last season, he let Richard Jefferson out of his agreement to return to Dallas so Jefferson could pursue an opportunity with a contender. He wound up getting a ring out of it in Cleveland.

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LeBron's triple-double lifts Cavs to 119-104 win over Knicks

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 23, 2017

CLEVELAND: LeBron James has often called the post-All-Star break portion of the schedule his favorite time of year. He showed why again on Thursday.

James registered his sixth triple-double of the season with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists in the Cavs’ 119-104 victory against the New York Knicks. It was James’ 48th career triple-double.

The Cavs remained red-hot during February, improving to 8-1 and surpassing their win total from all of January. James was concerned the All-Star break could disrupt their momentum, but that certainly didn’t happen.

The Cavs stood pat as Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline passed. With few assets left to trade, the Cavs will turn to the buyout market and hope guys like Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut pass through waivers unclaimed. Williams was waived by the Mavericks on Thursday and Bogut is expected to be released after he was traded from Dallas to Philadelphia prior to the deadline.

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Cavs stand pat at NBA's trade deadline, now will search buyout market

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 23, 2017

The trade deadline came and went without a move by the Cavaliers, who made their big trade last month when they acquired Kyle Korver. Now they’ll wait and see what veterans get bought out of their contracts in an effort to upgrade the roster.

Center Andrew Bogut has long been a target if his contract gets bought out, which now appears likely after he was traded from Dallas to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. The Sixers reportedly tried unsuccessfully to trade him again, but now will likely begin negotiations to buy out what’s left of his $11 million deal.

Similarly, Mavericks point guard Deron Williams has begun negotiating a buyout, according to the Vertical. Williams previously seemed uninterested in a buyout, but apparently that has changed. Williams would fill the backup point guard role the Cavs have been seeking all season.

The team also interviewed Larry Sanders on Wednesday and came away impressed. Coach Tyronn Lue spoke highly of Sanders and he impressed front office executives as well. Sanders, however, would likely be a fallback plan if they miss on Bogut. The Cavs only have one open roster spot, but could create another by waiving a player. 

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Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving won't back down on his belief the Earth is flat

By Marla Ridenour Published: February 18, 2017

NEW ORLEANS: For the record, Fox Sports Ohio's Allie Clifton sounded as incredulous as the rest of us when Kyrie Irving repeatedly insisted the Earth is flat.

That's the belief the 24-year-old Cavaliers guard stated during a Feb. 17 "Road Trippin' with RJ and Channing" podcast posted on that sent the Twitter world into a frenzy Friday.

The conversation also touched on conspiracy theories, the existence of aliens, John F. Kennedy's assassination, Bob Marley and bad hamburgers.

"The earth is flat," Irving said during the podcast. "All these things that particular groups, I won't even pinpoint one group, that they almost offer up as education. The fact that in our lifetimes that there are so many holes and so many pockets in our history ... All these things that they keep giving to us, all the explanations, I'm just saying that these things that used to put me in fear, it makes you not want to question it naturally because of how much information you can figure out and how much information is out there. Anything you have a particular question on, is the Earth flat or round, I think you need to do research on it."

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