Davis, Casspi out as busy Cavaliers re-sign Parker
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP)
The decision only adds to the mystery on how much longer Davis, who could be waived as part of the NBA's new ''amnesty clause,'' will be with the Cavaliers.
Also Monday, the Cavaliers re-signed veteran guard Anthony Parker and announced forward Omri Casspi sustained a knee injury at practice on Sunday. He is expected to be sidelined for a couple of days.
Cleveland officially introduced rookie guard Kyrie Irving, 19, the No. 1 pick in the draft, as well, on a busy day at camp. Irving, who played in only 11 games as a freshman at Duke last season because of a foot injury, has been hoping Davis could serve as his mentor.
That might not happen.
Davis reported to camp Friday, but felt tightness in his back during a light running session. He hasn't participated in any drills since and is getting additional opinions with the blessing of Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant.
''We want him to see as many specialists as possible,'' Grant said. ''We're very supportive of it because there are a lot of good doctors out there. We're supportive of him getting healthy.''
Grant didn't say where Davis is seeking his other medical opinions or when he would return to the team. The deadline for teams to exercise the ''amnesty clause'' is Friday. Grant said a player's physical situation would not affect that decision.
''Those kinds of decisions aren't necessarily based on health,'' he said. ''I don't think Baron's going to be out long term, but he has some stuff we're going to deal with moving forward.''
The 32-year-old Davis battled back and knee injuries after being acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers last season.
''We all got something as we get older,'' Cleveland coach Byron Scott. ''He was doing great this summer from all the reports that I heard. His back got a little sore and then he came here and it kind of flared up again. I'm not discounting him at all, but right now we've got to go with what we've got.''
Asked what he thought of Irving after watching him practice for three days, Scott smiled and said, ''He's pretty good. The one thing about Kyrie is each day he shows you a little something special. The first day it might have been one thing. Then we had a scrimmage and there were five or six things. He's progressing very nicely.''
The Cavaliers, who were 19-63 last season, open the preseason Friday against Detroit. The teams play again on Dec. 20. Cleveland opens the regular season against Toronto on Dec. 26. Davis' absence, whether it's temporary or permanent, will speed up Irving's progress.
''If Baron isn't here or not playing in the preseason games or when the regular season starts, it obviously gives him (Irving) more responsibility,'' Scott said. ''But I'm still not quite sure I'm just going to hand him the ball.''
Irving is pleased with the way his first professional camp is going.
''I'm trying to learn as much as possible and get used to the pace of the game,'' he said. ''It's a little different knowing they expect a lot more at this level.''
Irving realizes he must adjust quickly since the season begins in less than two weeks.
''It's a quick turnaround,'' he said. ''That's something I have to get used to. In college, you get a grace period. Right now, you have a week of training camp, you play your preseason games and you play the first game in practically a week and a half.''
Parker, 36, averaged 8.3 points in 72 games last season and is a candidate to be Cleveland's starting shooting guard.
''From the beginning, Cleveland was the team that showed the most interest,'' he said. ''That's a good indicator of where you fit in with an organization and how they plan to use you.''
Casspi, acquired from Sacramento for forward J.J. Hickson, bruised his right knee in a collision with teammate Luke Harangody at practice Sunday. Grant doesn't believe the injury is serious.
NOTES: Grant said the Cavaliers have received an extension on the trade exception they received when LeBron James went to Miami. The team has until Friday to use it, but Grant said there is no urgency to do so. ... The Cavaliers will explore other free-agent possibilities, but Grant thinks the team is in a good spot with the current roster. ... C Semih Erden has yet to take part in basketball drills because of a thumb injury. Scott said he should be able to participate in a full practice in early January. ... The Cavaliers waived free-agent F J.P. Prince.