According to Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, the Cleveland Cavaliers aren't in a rush to make a decision on Russian center Sasha Kaun. The Cavs have held Kaun's rights since the 2008 NBA Draft, when he was acquired in a deal with the then-Seattle SuperSonics. Until now, he has shown no interest in coming stateside. Perhaps not coincidentally, Kaun's deal with CSKA Moscow just expired.
According to the report, the Cavs are weighing options as they look to fill out the end of their roster. Kaun, who told Vardon that he would take less money to play in Cleveland, would likely be the fifth big on the Cavs' next year behind countryman Timofey Mozgov, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao.
Kaun took in a Cavs summer league game and had dinner with Cavs GM David Griffin, Cavs coach David Blatt and Cavs forward LeBron James in Las Vegas on Friday to start dialogue on a possible deal. Griffin told NEOMG that the Cavs would love to have Kaun if 'something could be worked out."
Last year in Russia, Kaun made the equivalent of $2.9 million. Were he to sign with the Cavs, he would either have to take a minimum deal - worth $525,000 - or sign for some part of the Cavs' remaining mini mid-level exception. According to the report, a decision on Kaun may take some time due to the tax ramifications that come with the Cavs already high payroll..
Kaun, 30, has played with CSKA Moscow since 2008 after playing for the Kansas Jayhawks. Last year, he averaged 9.1 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 69.1 percent from the field. CSKA Moscow finished third in the Euroleague, which includes the best teams from all over Europe. He also played for Blatt at the 2012 London Olympics, where the Russians won the Bronze Medal.