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Billy Preston is the type of player the new Cleveland Cavaliers are targeting.
They are looking for younger players with upside, players to develop as they rebuild the franchise in yet another edition of the post-LeBron James era.
So there are plenty of reasons why the Cavs signed Preston to a two-way contract earlier this summer — reasons explained by assistant general manager Mike Gansey and director of G-League operations Brendon Yu in an exclusive interview with Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders.
“(Preston) wasn’t able to play and we didn’t bring him in for a workout,” Gansey told Davies. “But someone that’s 20 years old, 6-10, can shoot, dribble, pass, do a lot of things with his versatility – with the way the game is going, he was a guy that kind of stood out for us. When he went undrafted, he was one of our first calls.”
Exclusive: Spoke with #Cavs assistant general manager Mike Gansey, director of G-League operations Brendon Yu and rookie forward Billy Preston at length about the organization's plans for the former five-star high school recruit.https://t.co/BQQLkSCQn9
— Spencer Davies (@SpinDavies) August 6, 2018
Preston is a former McDonald’s All-American whose career at Kansas was cut extremely short following a minor car accident — and an immediate investigation into the car in question. As Davies explained, Preston did not play in any college games, instead opting to head overseas.
The Cavs kept a close eye on him nonetheless.
“We were lucky to bring him in and sign him to a two-way before we even played a game,” Gansey told Davies. “Saw him in a couple practices and showed us enough where we felt comfortable doing that.”
Meanwhile, Preston told Davies he will “bring a lot of versatility” to both ends and is excited the Cavs are the team that’s giving him a chance.
“Mainly me just learning from my teammates and the coaches and just getting a feel for this level of competition,” Preston told Davies. “I think game-by-game I’m getting better, so it’s really just me getting my feel and just getting my rhythm back. Getting more comfortable and getting my confidence back up to the player I know I can be.”
You can check out the full detailed piece on Preston and the Cavs on Basketball Insiders.