The Cavs have invited center DeSagana Diop to training camp on a make-good, non-guaranteed contract. He was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2001 draft. This is his 12th NBA season, including four with the Cavs.
“It’s hard to find big guys,” Cavs general manager Chris Grant said.
-- Other non-roster players vying for spots are Australian point guard Matthew Dellavedova, Miami (Fla.) forward Kenny Kadji, St. Bonaventure forward Michael Lee, Georgetown center Henry Sims, Central Florida guard Jermaine Taylor and former first-round pick Elliot Williams, a guard from Memphis. Dellavedova signed a partially guaranteed, two-year deal and is expected to secure the third-point guard spot. That leaves six other players vying for one spot.
-- Irving was the Rookie of the Year and an All-Star last year. It doesn’t stop there.
“(I want) to be the best player in this league. That’s it,” he said.
-- No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett has been cleared to practice after recovering from a torn labrum. He’s working on getting his weight down and getting in game shape.
-- Power forward Tristan Thompson, the man standing in Bennett’s way for playing time, has switched to being a right-handed shooter from the field and foul line.
“It’s never been done before,” Thompson said.
-- Bynum has resumed basketball activities the last couple weeks. He said he’s not yet playing five-on-five.
“I’ve been working 10 straight weeks,” he said. “I’ve dropped weight. I’ve been following my protocol. One of the reasons I signed here was because of the medical staff and the facilities. I’m here working every day and I’m looking forward to playing. We have a very solid plan.”
He said he weighs about 290 pounds. His goal is to get down to 280 or 285.
“I’ve already dropped 18 pounds,” he said.
Bynum said he hopes to retain his athleticism despite the problems he’s had with his knees.
“I can still jump,” he said. “I can do my alley oops. It’s not completely there yet. It’s something I’m working toward.”
He sounds like he would like to have a specific deadline on his return.
“It’s mentally taxing,” Bynum said. “I know these people have my best interest at heart. My approach to the game has been a lot better.”
He was asked if he can get back to the All-Star level.
“I just want to get back to where I’m productive on the court,” he said. “I’m feeling good.”
Bynum said he doesn’t think this is his last chance in the NBA.
“I don’t think it’s my last chance because I’m still young,” he said.