INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — When the Cavaliers announced they signed guard D’Aundray Brown on Thursday, the reaction varied.
Many Northeast Ohio basketball die-hards at least know of Brown, who just completed a career at Cleveland State. He starred in high school at Youngstown Ursuline, and both of his parents played at Youngstown State.
So Brown is a member of the organization, and that is kinda cool.
But the Cavaliers still have to release two players from the roster. Actually, you can now make it three — and it’s likely to happen no later than Saturday morning.
Chances are, Brown is safe. The Cavs are expected to keep him and ship him straight to Canton, the home of their D-League affiliate.
So the three cuts will come from a pool of players who have been in training camp all along. Possibilities include point guard Jeremy Pargo, forwards Kevin Jones and Luke Harangody, and big man Micheal Eric. Of that list, only Harangody was drafted by an NBA franchise (Boston, 2010, 52nd overall).
As for Brown, he comes to the Cavs as a 6-foot-4 guard, although he also played a little forward in college. He gained a reputation as a rugged type who out-rebounded taller opponents, dove to the floor for loose balls and just generally put a body on folks defensively.
He missed all of the Vikings’ 2010-11 season with a hand injury, then averaged 10.8 points on 46 percent shooting last season. Brown spent part of his CSU career playing alongside first-round draft pick Norris Cole, a point guard with the Miami Heat.
“We’ve had him in our gym a bunch of times,” Cavs coach Byron Scott said. “We love the way he plays. He defends, he’s tough, he makes shots. I think that’s enough.”
The signing of Brown had nothing to do with the fact Kyrie Irving sat out of practice, team officials said. Irving had four wisdom teeth removed Wednesday.
He is expected to have recovered well in advance of Tuesday’s season opener vs. Washington at The Q.
“Right now, he’s home resting,” Scott said of Irving. “He says he feels pretty good, so it’s going to be day-to-day.”
Irving is the reigning NBA rookie of the year and was the Cavs’ preseason scoring leader (15.4 points per game).
• Scott said he was “surprised” but “very happy” the Cavs picked up the option on his contract for the 2013-14 season. “We’re trying to build something special and we’re trying to build it for the long haul, not a quick fix,” he said.
• Anderson Varejao made his first start at power forward in some time during the preseason finale against Indiana. He has primarily played center in the Scott era, but said he doesn’t really have a preference. “Playing power forward, you have to run around a bit more,” Varejao said. “Playing center, you have to be more physical against the big guys. I like both.”
• Scott has not yet revealed his starting lineup. “I think by Sunday I’ll have a real good feel,” he said.
• The NBA preseason concluded Friday. The Cavs finished 3-4. The Lakers were 0-8. So don’t read anything into it. At all.
• Fox Sports Ohio will air an hour-long pregame show prior to the season opener at 6 p.m. Jeff Phelps will host all studio shows this season with Campy Russell again offering insight and analysis.
• Cavs fans in attendance Tuesday will receive a free T-shirt and schedule magnet.