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It appears the Cavaliers have just about a full roster for training camp, and while LeBron James is no longer on the team, at least everyone who’s supposed to be there is signed and healthy.
After Rodney Hood decided to pick up his $3.4 million option earlier this week, the Cavs are free of holdouts. As long-ago Cavs coach Lenny Wilkens once said of contract squabbles: “No one wins. Not the club, not the player, nobody.”
Today’s Cavs needn’t worry about that.
All the major players will be there when camp begins Sept. 25. Along with Hood, the list of notables includes Kevin Love, George Hill, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, Kyle Korver, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Cedi Osman and rookie lottery pick Collin Sexton.
It’s hard to know how far this roster can go, but coach Tyronn Lue has made it pretty evident he’s dying to find out.
“We want to continue to be exciting, continue to be competitive for our fan base,” Lue told the Boston Globe. “Don’t say we’re going to replace LeBron. He’s an irreplaceable player. So we’ve got to understand that and continue to keep growing and working collectively and be the best we can be.”
NBA teams are allowed to bring 20 players to camp and that is likely what the Cavs will be doing.
Returnee Ante Zizic and newcomers Sam Dekker, David Nwaba and Isaiah Taylor all have guaranteed deals, as does old friend Channing Frye, back for another run.
The Cavs also reportedly have agreed to a one-year contract with guard Kobi Simmons.
That means 15 roster spots are filled. (Billy Preston and John Holland have “two-way” deals, though the one way they’ll mostly be heading is Canton, home of the G-League’s Charge).
Filling out the roster are Scoochie Smith and Bonzi Colson. Isaac Hamilton and Smith played for the Charge last season, and are headed back this year.
Hamilton’s agent, Sean Davis, told AmicoHoops that Hamilton will be waived Friday. That sounds worse than it is, as Hamilton and Smith will pick up a cool $50,000 if they are waived by the Cavs and play in Canton.
Hamilton will not participate in training camp in Cleveland.
Finally, Colson is a rookie who went undrafted out of Notre Dame. He missed eight weeks after breaking his foot early in the season, then returned for the final three games. He re-injured the foot during the NIT tournament — and while the Cavs signed him to their summer squad, he was never able to play.
Colson is a long shot to make the final roster, as the Cavs seem destined to carry 14 of the 15 allowable spots into the season. But like some of the others, he should get every opportunity to prove himself in the G-League.
Overall, the Cavs appear to be signed and set, and likely to start trickling in to the practice facility in Independence, Ohio. All they need now are some basketballs and the go-ahead from the NBA that practice can officially begin.