In the trade that brought Dwight Powell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Brendan Haywood was included primarily because the Cavs valued his contract. From an on-court perspective, adding a veteran center to a roster that is fairly thin at that position could be a good thing as well. However, Haywood's health has been a huge question mark. He haan't played in an NBA game since the end of the 2012-13 season.
Now, according to Chris Haynes of The Plain Dealer/Northeast Ohio Media Group, Haywood could be ready to play very soon:
Cleveland Cavaliers center Brendan Haywood is recovering nicely from last year's foot surgery and will practice from the outset once training camp begins Saturday, league sources tell Northeast Ohio Media Group.
He will be limited when it comes to certain drills, but his activity will be increased throughout the course of preseason. One source says Haywood's full-contact clear date is "close" if he keeps up this accelerated path.
Haywood, who is 34, last played in '12-13 for the Charlotte Hornets. He played in 61 games that season, and averaged 19 minutes, 3.5 points, and 4.8 rebounds per game.
At the very least, Haywood should be another veteran presence for the Cavs. He was teammates with Shawn Marion on the Dallas Mavericks team that won the title in 2011. At the very best, Haywood could be a much-needed big body for a team on which Anderson Varejao and Alex Kirk are the only guys who can be considered traditional centers.
This sort of reminds me of the Andrew Bynum situation heading into last season. Except, hopefully, without the downside.