Cavaliers weighing decision on guard Baron Davis
Baron Davis remains one of Cleveland’s starting guards. That
could change at any time.
On Friday, Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant said Davis has
reported for training camp, and that the club has not decided
whether to waive the veteran by using the NBA’s new ”amnesty
However, Cavs coach Byron Scott may have hinted that Davis’ days
are numbered when he was asked if the former All-Star could be a
mentor to rookie Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 overall draft pick.
”To be honest with you, you know who the best mentor for Kyrie
is? You’re looking at him,” said Scott, who is beginning his
second season with Cleveland. ”You’re looking at him. I’ve had
this situation with Chris Paul (in New Orleans) as well. I don’t
want to sound cocky, but you’re looking at him. I’m the best.”
Davis, who missed most of the first practice session with back
tightness, didn’t say how long he thinks he will remain with the
”I’m here, I’m here, I’m here,” he said. ”I’m living in the
present. I love Cleveland. I love the fans. I love my teammates.
This is a great organization. I appreciate each and every moment
I’m here. That’s all that I’m really focused on. That’s all I can
control is what happens with today.”
Asked about the possibility of joining a contender instead of
playing with the rebuilding Cavaliers, Davis said, ”I like the
Cleveland Cavaliers. I think we have some good young guys who are
talented as well as athletic. As a veteran, it’s great to be in a
situation where people look up to you. This has been a phenomenal
situation for me because Coach Scott lets me talk a lot and be an
extension of him on the floor. I’m embracing it and enjoying
Davis said his back tightened up doing a light running drill,
but he doesn’t believe it’s anything serious. He also played with a
sore knee last season.
The Cavs are trying to decide if it makes more sense to move
forward with or without the 32-year-old Davis, who was acquired in
a trade last season with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Cavs have
contemplated using the ”amnesty clause” in the new labor
agreement that allow teams to cut and pay players while also
getting salary-cap and luxury-tax relief. The team could pay Davis
the roughly $28 million he is owed for the next two seasons and let
him leave as a free agent. They could also negotiate a buyout with
The team has had talks with Davis’ representatives. Grant was
asked if Davis had requested his release.
”We are not going to get into any private negotiations or
discussions that we have with our players or anyone else,” he
The most pressing concern for the Cavs is turning their offense
over to Irving, the former Duke standout who turned pro after
playing just 11 games last season because of a foot injury.
Cleveland went just 19-63 last season and is hoping Irving and
forward Tristan Thompson, the No. 4 overall pick, can get them back
to contending status.
If Davis stays with Cleveland, Scott said it’s possible he and
Irving could be on the floor at the same time.
”I’ve been known to do that, to play point guards together,”
Irving would like to get the chance to play with Davis.
”He’s a great asset to our team,” Irving said. ”He brings a
lot of veteran leadership. It would be great to have him
Davis believes Irving has unlimited potential.
”Kyrie has a great future ahead of him,” he said. ”It would
be great for me to see him years down the line when I’m sitting on
my couch with my kids and say, `Hey, I used to play with that kid.’
The Cavaliers signed Irving and Thompson on Friday. Financial
terms on the deals were not immediately known.
Scott is eager to get to work with his team following the labor
lockout. There isn’t much time to get ready for the 66-game
schedule, which will open for Cleveland on Dec. 26 against Toronto.
Last season, Scott demanded a lot from his players during camp,
pushing them to the point of exhaustion by making them run.
He can’t be as tough this time around.
”Camp Scott has to be a little bit like Camp Soft,” he said.
”I can’t be the normal guy that I normally am in training
Grant carefully sidestepped questions about the letter that Cavs
owner Dan Gilbert sent to NBA commissioner David Stern on Thursday
protesting the proposed trade of Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Stern nullified the trade from New Orleans for ”basketball
In his letter, Gilbert said, ”I just don’t see how we can allow
this trade to happen. … I know the vast majority of owners feel
the same way that I do. … When will we just change the name of 25
of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?”
Grant was reluctant to address his boss’ comments.
”Dan is a passionate guy,” he said. ”It’s a joy working for a
guy who is that aggressive and it allows us to be aggressive and go
after things. But it is not my place or our place to get into
communications he has having with other owners or the league
Forward Joey Graham, who averaged 5.2 points in 39 games last
season, has been waived. Grant said the team is still in
negotiations with free agent guard Anthony Parker.
Five players have been invited to camp, including forwards
Tyrell Biggs, Kyle Goldcamp and J.P. Prince and guards Kenny Hayes
and Mychel Thompson.