With training camp approaching, Cavs' new big men Bennett and Bynum making strides.
By SAM AMICOFS Ohio
AKRON, Ohio -- When the
Cleveland Cavaliers begin training camp next week, Anthony Bennett will take the floor.
And from the sounds of things, Andrew Bynum may not be far behind.
That’s the skinny from the Cavs’ golf outing Monday at Akron’s Firestone Country Club, which took place eight days before the start of camp.
Let’s begin with Bennett, the rookie power forward and No. 1 overall pick in the June’s NBA draft. He spent the off-season recovering from shoulder surgery and missed the Cavs’ summer-league run in Las Vegas.
But he recently started taking part in full-court games of five-of-five, and in Bennett’s own words, has even thrown down a few dunks.
“He’s starting to do some five-on-five, some full-court, and his shoulder is fine,” said Cavs general manager Chris Grant. “He still hasn’t played basketball in a long time, so there’s going to be some rust. He’s in a good spot, he’s healthy.”
As for Bynum, there’s still no official timetable for his return. But Bynum has been working out at the Cavs’ practice facility since signing a free-agent contract in July. Those workouts primarily consist of running on the treadmill and lifting weights, but yes, they have involved some actual basketball.
“He’s not there yet, but he’s starting to participate and do things where we’re cautiously optimistic,” Grant said. “It’s a day-to-day and week-by-week process.”
The 7-foot Bynum missed all of last season with the Philadelphia 76ers with knee issues. But the Cavs don’t appear overly concerned the same thing will happen again this year.
“Not really. When we signed him to the contract, we knew there was some risk from an injury standpoint,” Grant said. “We’re positive and excited because of just (how much) the kid works. He’s gonna turn over every stone to get as healthy as possible.”
Grant added, “He’s done some stuff on the court, not a lot. Most has been in the training room and weight room. We’ve seen significant progress so far.”
As for everyone else -- from Kyrie Irving to Dion Waiter to Tristan Thompson and yes, Anderson Varejao -- the Cavs appear to be feeling fine and ready to roll.
With that in mind, Irving cited “the playoffs” as his personal goal.
Bennett and Bynum are expected to help in that department, but the Cavs certainly won’t rush either. Instead, they’ll play it smart, play it safe and keep an eye on the Oct. 30 season-opener vs. the Brooklyn Nets.
Bennett averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds last season at UNLV.
Meanwhile, Bynum played in 60 of a possible 66 games under Cavs coach Mike Brown when with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011-12. Bynum compiled averages of 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds and made the All-Star team that season.
Posey to Charge
Former NBA forward James Posey has been hired as an assistant coach with the Canton Charge, the Cavs’ D-League affiliate.
Posey, a native of nearby Twinsburg, Ohio, spent 12 seasons in the NBA with six different teams. He will assist Steve Hertzel, hired by the Charge earlier this month.