INDEPENDENCE — Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson are doing things a little out of order, that’s all.
The young second-year pros, robbed of their initial pro summer experience due to the lockout, will headline a Cavaliers team that will compete in the NBA Summer League beginning Sunday in Las Vegas.
Point guard Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in 2011 and reigning Rookie of the Year, and power forward Thompson, the No. 4 choice and a second-team All-Rookie selection, will be joined by Syracuse shooting guard Dion Waiters, the No. 4 pick in 2012, and North Carolina center Tyler Zeller, the No. 17 pick acquired from Dallas for three draft choices.
The Cavs, whose roster will also include 2011-12 regular-season players Luke Harangody, D.J. Kennedy, Samardo Samuels and Donald Sloan, will open summer league play Sunday at 8:30 p.m. against the Charlotte Bobcats at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Cleveland will play a team of NBA Developmental League players Monday at 8 p.m. at the Cox Pavilion, then play games against Phoenix (Tuesday, 8:30, Thomas & Mack), Minnesota (July 19 at 8, Cox) and New York (July 20 at 4, Cox).
The Cavs’ roster does not include 6-foot-8, 260-pound power forward Kevin Jones, who led the Big East in scoring (19.9) and rebounding (10.9) last season at West Virginia but went undrafted. Jones, who will reportedly receive some guaranteed money from the Cavs, bruised his left heel recently and will be unable to participate, but will attend training camp with Cleveland in the fall.
Matt Pressey, a 6-2, 195-pound point guard out of Missouri and the son of Cavs assistant Paul Pressey, will play for Cleveland in summer league action, as will 5-9 lead guard T.J. Campbell (Portland, ’10) 6-11 forward/center Michael Eric (Temple, ’12), 6-6 swingman Justin Holiday (Washington, ’11) and 6-6 shooting guard Garrett Temple (LSU, ’09).
Summer league rosters often fluctuate, so players could come and go. Irving, 20, and Thompson, 21, might not suit up — or even be on hand — for every game, while guys like Harangody and Samuels might also be held out of some contests to give the other players more of an opportunity.
A record 24 teams will participate in the summer league, which will feature 60 games in 10 days and 13 of the 14 lottery picks in the 2012 draft if all get signed and show up.
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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