Cavaliers With just about six weeks to go before training camp, the Cavaliers look to have just about solidified their roster.
On Friday, veteran big man Joe Smith decided to sign a one-year, $1.3 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks instead of returning to the Cavs, who made a similar offer. The Hawks had been recruiting Smith for weeks and there are indications that Smith have may decided to move on when the Cavs signed Leon Powe last week, threatening Smith's long-term playing-time chances.
So the Cavs have moved on and agreed to a nonguaranteed contract with free-agent forward Rob Kurz, a 6-9 shooting specialist, worth $736,000.
The team has been talking with Kurz for about a month and he has spent time working out in Cleveland already. He played in 40 games as a rookie with the Golden State Warriors last season, five of them starts, averaging 3.9 points and 2.0 rebounds. What likely has the Cavs most interested is his 40 percent shooting percentage on 3-pointers.
The Cavs have been looking at various good-shooting big men all summer as they look for an option when teams bunch coverage on LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal.
Kurz has what is referred to in the NBA as a "make-good" contract, which means he will come to training camp without being assured a roster spot. To create a little competition, the Cavs have also agreed to a training camp contract with 6-11 center Darryl Watkins.
Watkins spent some time with the Sacramento Kings two years ago and last year played with TianJin of the Chinese Basketball Association, averaging 20.7 points and 5.1 rebounds.
Also on the roster on a nonguaranteed contract is forward Jawad Williams, who was impressive during summer league and has a solid chance of winning a roster spot.
The team is expected to soon sign second-round pick Danny Green and he is expected to make the team, which means Kurz, Watkins and Williams would be fighting for the final two spots.
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org, 216-999-5166