July 17, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters (3) makes a shot over Phoenix Suns center Patrick O'Bryant (26) during the game at the Thomas and Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
I admit, I'm doing this a bit too early. There's still plenty of time left in free agency and the Cavaliers haven't added a veteran like they have been meaning to do. Furthermore, the Dwight Howard situation is still up in the air and the Cavs may very well be involved in that.
Regardless, I'm going to run through what I think the Cleveland Cavaliers' Opening Day roster will look like as of this moment. So keep in mind that I'm not including any possible trades because those would be impossible to predict. If they are a "stone-cold lock" that means they have a guaranteed contract and won't be cut.
Kyrie Irving (PG) -- 2011/12 PER: 21.4 **projected starter**
Dion Waiters (SG) -- 2011/12 PER: N/A **projected starter**
Omri Casspi (SF) -- 2011/12 PER: 11.2
Anderson Varejao (PF/C) -- 2011/12 PER: 18.9 **projected starter**
Tristan Thompson (PF) -- 2011/12 PER: 13.3 **projected starter**
Tyler Zeller (C) -- 2011/12 PER: N/A
Luke Harangody (???) -- 2011/12 PER: 10.4
Luke Walton (SF) -- 2011/12 PER: 2.2 (holy crap, 2.2???)
Daniel Gibson (contract is partially guaranteed) (SG) -- 2011/12 PER: 9.2
Jon Leuer (picked up off waivers) (PF) -- 2011/12 PER: 15.3
Kevin Jones (PF) -- 2011/12 PER: N/A
Donald Sloan (PG) -- 2011/12 PER: 8.9
Samardo Samuels (PF) -- 2011/12 PER: 11.1
Alonzo Gee (Restricted free agent, Cavs intend to match) (SG/SF) -- 2011/12 PER: 13.2 **projected starter**
Possible Training Camp Invitees:
Michael Eric (PF/C) -- 2011/12 PER: N/A
Justin Holiday (SG/SF) -- 2011/12 PER: N/A (played in Belgium)
D.J. Kennedy (SG/SF) -- 2011/12 PER: 4.7
Anthony Parker (SG) -- 2011/12 PER: 10.9 (retired)
Manny Harris (SG) -- 2011/12 PER: 11.7 (waived)
Semih Erden (C) -- 2011/12 PER: 9.9 (signed in Turkey)
Ultimately, the Cavs have some wiggle room with so many non-guaranteed contracts. But between the "locks" and the "probables" that's 15 players and pretty much who I expect to be on the roster (barring any free agent signings or trades). The training camp invites could get a chance to play for a roster spot, but again, this is just my projection. I wouldn't be stunned if any of those guys ended up making the team, but this is my guess for the time being.
If those are your 2012-13 Cleveland Cavaliers, what do you think?
In my opinion, they improved in some key spots. They replaced Erden and Hollins with Zeller and presumably will have Varejao back. Waiters doesn't have to do much to be an upgrade over Anthony Parker. If they can retain Gee, then I assume he'll have some growth as well. It's not earth-shattering but it's moving in the right direction.
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