The wait is over: the Cavaliers begin play in the Las Vegas Summer League today. Tip-off is 6 p.m. against the Los Angeles Lakers (or at least the summer version of the Lakers). The team will be coached by assistant coach Chris Jent, who just might be in line to replace the departed John Kuester (Detroit) as Mike Brown's "offensive coordinator."
At any rate, here's a breakdown of the Cavs' summer roster:
Darnell Jackson, 6-9, PF, 2nd year. A banger who is still developing offensive skills. Could become an important part of the rotation behind the likes of Shaquille O'Neal, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao in the frontcourt. Cavs fans should be excited about what this young man could become.
Danny Green, 6-6, G/F, rookie. The second-round pick comes from a winning program (North Carolina) and has the athleticism to be an immediate contributor behind LeBron James and whoever starts at shooting guard. Displayed versatility, a knack for getting after it on defense and a nice feel for the game at the college level.
Tarence Kinsey, 6-6, G, 4th year. Explosive athlete who played fairly well in his limited opportunities off the bench last season. Needs to toughen up on defense and not worry about making mistakes. Great guy who plays hard and has a willingness to please the coach. Perhaps the top battle in Cavs training camp will between Kinsey and Green.
Jawad Williams, 6-9, F, 2nd year. Another Carolina guy who spent parts of last season filling a spot on the Cavs' inactive list. Was an unstoppable force in the D-League, scoring better than 20 points per game. Displayed that point-producing ability in the season-finale against Philadelphia, when he scored 8 points in 10 minutes. Wouldn't be a big surprise to see him in an NBA rotation someday.
Christian Eyenga, 6-6, G/F, rookie. First-round pick who isn't likely to play in Cleveland this season, so this could be Cavs fans' lone look at him for a while. Has the potential to be a Mickael Pietrus-type with his athleticism and length. Definitely needs to spend a couple of years learning the basics of the game -- something that should happen while he plays professionally overseas.
David Harrison, 7-0, C, 5th year. Oldest player on summer roster (26) is big and slow and last played with Indiana. Couldn't stick there despite playing at a time when the Pacers were center-less. Ability has never been a question; desire has.
Leo Lyons, 6-9, PF, rookie. Was projected as a second-rounder in most mock drafts but didn't get picked. Displayed an ability to score with either hand near the basket at Missouri, and can hit the occasional three-pointer despite being a power forward by trade. Athletic but inconsistent.
Robert Hite, 6-2, G, 2nd year. Performed spot-up duty for Miami in the early part of last season, backing up both shooting and point guard spots. Was charged with DUI following a birthday party for Dwyane Wade in February. Heat parted ways with him soon thereafter. Has potential to grow into a third or fourth guard off NBA bench.
Jamont Gordon, 6-3, G, rookie. Played in Italy last year after making a bad decision to skip his senior year at Mississippi State in 2008. Agent is father of Memphis point guard Mike Conley (Mike Conley Sr.). Averaged 11.3 points per game in Italy this past season, but just 1.6 assists. A long-shot at best.
Maureece Rice, 6-1, G, rookie. Strong with a powerful build. Was as exceptional shooter at George Washington. Completed his college career in 2008 and is 25-years old. Fair or not, has a reputation as a guy who only wants to shoot and doesn't care about the rest of the game.
CAVS SUMMER SCHEDULE
(All games in Las Vegas)
Saturday, July 11 - vs. L.A. Lakers, 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 12 - vs. Milwaukee, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, July 14 - vs. Washington, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 16 - vs. Dallas, 8 p.m.
Friday, July 17 - vs. Detroit, 4 p.m.
Sam Amico is the editor of ProBasketballNews.com and a frequent contributor to The Cleveland Fan.