CLEVELAND — Life without LeBron James begins in earnest for the Cavaliers at the NBA Summer League.
Cleveland will field a 14-player squad of veterans, free agents and one draft pick in the week-long event in Las Vegas. Its first game is Tuesday at 6 p.m. against the NBA D-League All-Stars, which will air live on NBA TV.
Topping the Cavs’ roster are third-year forward J.J. Hickson and second-year guard Danny Green, both members of their 2009-10 Central Division championship squad. That team won 61 games, but lost to Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals — ultimately sending James fleeing to the Miami Heat.
Also notable on the summer squad is swingman Christian Eyenga, who was Cleveland’s first-round selection in 2009. The native of the Congo spent last season playing professionally overseas, but remains property of the Cavs and could earn a training camp invite with a strong showing in Sin City.
Three-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection Paul Pressey — the lead assistant for new Cleveland head coach Byron Scott — will pilot the group.
Pressey’s assistants are Chris Jent and Melvin Hunt (both holdovers from Mike Brown’s staff), D-League Erie Bayhawks coach John Treloar, one-time Cavs forward Kornel David, and newcomers Joe Prunty and Neal Meyer.
The remainder of the team includes four NBA veterans and seven rookies, none of whom are currently under contract.
Centers Nathan Jawai, Maciej Lampe and Jared Reiner, and guard Rashad McCants have spent a total of 11 years in the league, but are trying to earn their way back onto a regular-season roster.
Lampe (Phoenix, New Orleans/Oklahoma City, Houston) is 6-foot-11, Jawai (Toronto, Minnesota) is 6-10, Reiner (Chicago, Milwaukee) is 6-11, and McCants (Minnesota, Sacramento) is 6-4. Jawai was the only member of the quartet to see NBA action last year, appearing in 39 games with the Timberwolves.
Guards Jerome Dyson (Connecticut), Manny Harris (Michigan), Aaron Jackson (North Carolina State) and Pooh Jeter (Portland), and forwards Marquis Gilstrap (Iowa State), Tasmin Mitchell (Louisiana State) and David Monds (Oklahoma State) have no experience beyond the D-League or NCAA levels.
Cleveland will play five games at the event. Its remaining schedule features Phoenix (Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.), Chicago (Friday at 8:30 p.m.), Miami (Saturday at 6 p.m.) and Milwaukee (Sunday at 4 p.m.).
NBA TV plans live coverage of the Heat and Bucks games, while the Suns and Bulls games will air on tape delay.
Contact Brian Dulik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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