LAS VEGAS: As the Cavaliers concluded their summer league schedule with an 82-76 loss to the Miami Heat in Saturday’s quarterfinals, the focus shifted to training camp in October and sifting through the bodies to find camp invitations.
Of the non-roster players invited to summer league, coach Mike Brown said those he liked most were Cory Higgins, Justin Harper, Jermaine Taylor and Matthew Dellavedova. It would stand to reason those four would have the best chance at camp invitations. Of the four, Harper (6-foot-10) is the only forward. The rest are guards.
Taylor scored 20 points Saturday and finished the summer averaging 12.8 points. Harper, a former second-round pick of the Cavs in 2011 who was immediately traded to Orlando for future draft considerations, had his finest performance with 21 points and five rebounds.
Dellavedova, the talk of camp, struggled through his worst game with three points, three assists and five turnovers, but remains a strong possibility for a camp invitation. The same is true of Higgins, who had 17 points and three steals on Saturday.
Dellavedova is an undrafted rookie Australian who played in college at St. Mary. His lack of overall athleticism likely prevented him from being drafted, but the Cavs remain high on his playmaking ability.
“We have two guys that obviously can play the point guard position pretty good when you talk about Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack,” Brown said. “On top of that, we’ll probably need a third guy to be ready just in case. Dellavedova is a good name, Cory Higgins is a good name.”
Dellavedova committed to play for the Cavs prior to them signing Jack, but said he still likes the situation in Cleveland.
“I watched [Jack] a lot with Golden State because I was in the Bay Area for college,” Dellavedova said. “I watched the Warriors a lot. If I managed to make the team, those two guys would be great to learn off and go against and try to push them.”
Higgins entered summer league determined to show the Cavs he could play point guard and believes he succeeded. He had nine assists and seven turnovers in the five games, with three assists coming against the Heat on Saturday.
“I think I’ve just been steady,” Higgins said. “One of the big things coming off my rookie year was trying to play the point guard position. I don’t know if people believed I could do that. I wanted to come here and show I’m a steady point guard, you can put me out there and I’m not going to turn the ball over and I’m going to work my butt off.”
The Cavs have two roster spots open following the releases of Chris Quinn and Kevin Jones.
Waiters, Zeller sit
Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller sat out Saturday’s scrimmage, which was planned all along since both players will participate in a USA Basketball minicamp that begins on Monday.
Both players are also nursing minor injuries. Zeller has two stitches on the tip of his left ring finger and Waiters was icing his right wrist for part of Saturday’s game. He said the wrist has been bothering him, so the Cavs did an MRI a few days ago and the imaging revealed nothing. Brown said Waiters is fine.
“[The MRI] was before the game [Thursday] and he was 10-for-12 for 28 points,” Brown joked. “So he’s OK.”
Jones moving on
After the Cavaliers drafted Anthony Bennett and signed Andrew Bynum as a free agent, Jones’ agent doesn’t think Cleveland remains the best fit for his client. The Cavs released Jones on Friday and have considered bringing him back on a league minimum deal after he clears waivers, but agent Bill Neff said it’s time to move on.
“I am not sure it is the best place for him,” Neff wrote in an email. “He loved it there, though, and was treated very well. He understands business is business, so we will undoubtedly find a different home.”
Jason Lloyd can be reached at email@example.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.