July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Cavaliers sign defensive-minded swingman Joey Graham

INDEPENDENCE – The Cavaliers now have had both Graham twins under contract.

Cleveland signed swingman Joey Graham to a two-year, $2.1 million contract Friday, with the team holding the option for the second year of the deal.

Graham, 28, is the twin brother of Stephen Graham, who played for the Cavaliers in 2005-06.

Joey Graham was signed with the veteran minimum exception, meaning Cleveland still has all of its $5.8 million mid-level exception.

“We’re excited to add Joey to our roster,” Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant said in a statement. “He adds a tough, veteran presence on the perimeter that will complement the pieces we have in place.”

The 6-foot-7 Graham is considered a gritty defender and solid locker room presence, but he’s not known for his scoring.

Graham spent last season with Denver and averaged 4.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 63 games. In 18 starts, he averaged 7.4 points and 3.3 rebounds.

“With his strong work ethic and discipline, we feel he is a great match with the culture we have built and continue to build,” Grant said.

Prior to joining the Nuggets, Graham played four seasons with Toronto, which drafted him out of Oklahoma State with the 16th overall pick in 2005.

Graham averaged career highs of 7.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 2008-09. Over his five-year career, he’s averaged 6.0 points and 2.9 rebounds while shooting .485 from the field and .815 at the line.

“Joining Cleveland marks an exciting, brand new start for me,” Graham said in a statement. “This is a great opportunity and I’m excited to come in and help the team as much as possible.”

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com.