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Cavaliers notebook: Cavs considering pursuit of former Heat player Mike Miller

By Jason Lloyd
Beacon Journal sports writer

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LAS VEGAS: The Cavaliers have internally discussed the possibility of making an amnesty waiver claim on former Miami Heat shooter Mike Miller, but no decision has been made yet, a league source with knowledge of the discussions confirmed. The deadline to make a claim is 5 p.m. today.

Miller, waived by the Heat under the league’s amnesty provision, fills the one area the Cavs sorely need, which is another shooter. But he has chronic back problems and is often injured. He has appeared in 193 of a possible 312 games the past four regular seasons (62 percent) and he is due $6.6 million in 2014-15.

The Heat are responsible for his salary this season and next, but a portion of the Cavs’ waiver claim would carry over to next season’s payroll, and the Cavs have been careful with guarding salary-cap space for the summer of 2014.

Under amnesty waiver claims, teams can make a partial bid on players waived under the amnesty provision. The team with the highest bid wins that player, with the amount of the winning bid dispersed over the remaining years of the deal.

Meanwhile, Andrew Bynum is coming to Cleveland today to take a physical. He has yet to sign his contract and the Cavs never scheduled his introductory news conference. It is expected to occur next week.

Should they make a claim on Miller, the Cavs can delay having Bynum sign his deal until after they learn whether they are awarded Miller. Should they wind up with Bynum and Miller, the Cavs have three players on nonguaranteed contracts next year: C.J. Miles, Chris Quinn and Kevin Jones. One or more of them would have to be waived to fit Bynum’s salary under the cap.

Miller, 33, shot 42 percent on 3-pointers last season and made big postseason shots in the Heat’s march to a second consecutive NBA title. He has played for five teams during his 12 years in the NBA.

Miller’s health problems are concerning, particularly since the Cavs already have guys like Anderson Varejao, Bynum and Kyrie Irving, who all have extensive injury histories.

The Cavs are still in the process of overhauling their medical staff and have yet to hire a trainer. Stephen Spiro, an assistant trainer last year, is handling the duties in summer league.

‘Big’ Bennett

Anthony Bennett will primarily play power forward this season, Cavs coach Mike Brown said Wednesday. The experiment of whether Bennett can handle the small forward role won’t come until later.

“He’s a power forward who I think maybe one day can play small forward,” Brown said. “He won’t play small forward for awhile. They are two different positions for us. He will strictly be a power forward. He may be a power forward this whole year. I have no plans right now to use him this year at the small forward position.”

Bennett joined the Cavs’ summer league team this week, but he won’t play while he recovers from shoulder surgery.

Open competition

Earl Clark was signed as a free agent to play that small forward role, but Brown declined to name him the favorite to start there. Brown said there will be an open competition between Clark, Alonzo Gee and C.J. Miles.

Sergey Karasev is in that mix, too, but since he’s a 19-year-old rookie, Brown said he “most likely” won’t be a starter.

“Those three guys [Clark, Miles and Gee] are going to battle for it and may the best man win,” Brown said. “They all know to a certain degree what I’m looking for at that spot. They will know as training camp gets here more clearly what that role will be for us.”

Here’s the scoop

Former Syracuse star Scoop Jardine worked out with the Cavs on Tuesday and Wednesday, but no decision has been made regarding adding him to the summer league roster.

Jardine, a former teammate of Dion Waiters’ with the Orange, had his career derailed before last year’s draft when he broke his foot during a workout.

Jason Lloyd can be reached at jlloyd@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Cavs blog at http://www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JasonLloydABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.


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