October 24, 2014

Medina
Mostly sunny
58°F

Cavs: Prelims are out of the way

CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers completed preliminary round play at the Las Vegas Summer League with a 2-1 record, earning them a spot in the top half of the 22-team field.

The action resumes today at the Thomas and Mack Center and Cox Pavilion, where the inaugural summer league championship tournament will be held. Cleveland is guaranteed two more games, but could play as many as five.

Cleveland’s Tyler Zeller shoots over the Lakers’ Robert Sacre in an NBA Summer League game. (AP PHOTO)

The Cavaliers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 70-62 and the Memphis Grizzlies 69-58, but lost their prelim finale 66-62 to the New Orleans Pelicans. Assistant coach Jamahl Mosley is coaching the squad.

Shooting guard Dion Waiters — an NBA All-Rookie Team selection — leads Cleveland in scoring (14.0) and assists (3.7), but is shooting a miserable .295 from the field, .222 on 3-pointers and .636 from the foul line.

Center Tyler Zeller is the Cavaliers’ leading rebounder (9.3) and second-leading scorer (13.7). The NBA All-Rookie second-team selection also tops the squad in field goal percentage (.567) and had 15 points and 12 boards against the Pelicans.

Also scoring in double figures is non-contract shooting guard Jermaine Taylor, a former member of the Rockets and Kings. He is averaging 11.0 points in just 14.7 minutes off the bench, bolstering his chances of an invitation to training camp in October.

Second-round draft pick Carrick Felix has started each game at small forward and is averaging 8.3 points and 6.7 rebounds. The Arizona State product stands 6-foot-6 and is considered a lock to make Cleveland’s regular season roster.

Joining Waiters, Zeller and Felix as a starter in all three games was power forward Kenny Kadji, an undrafted rookie from Miami (Fla.). He has averaged 3.7 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting .333 from the floor.

The most intriguing non-contract player, though, has been undrafted point guard Matthew Dellavedova. The native of Australia and St. Mary’s (Calif.) product is averaging 3.7 points and 2.7 assists and a team-high 1.33 steals, but has displayed court sense and flair beyond those numbers.

In order to add depth for the tournament, the Cavaliers added center Jared Berggren to their summer squad Tuesday. The 6-11, 240-pounder set the University of Wisconsin record for career blocked shots and played for the Magic in the Orlando Summer League earlier this month.

While the majority of Cleveland’s front office is in Nevada, an introductory press conference for free agent center Andrew Bynum is expected to be held Thursday in Independence. The 2012 NBA All-Star has agreed to sign a two-year, $24 million with the Cavaliers, only $6 million of which is guaranteed.

Bynum sat out the entire 2012-13 season and underwent surgery on both of his knees in March.

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.