The Cleveland Cavaliers formally announced their training camp roster in advance of media day today. The roster includes the usual suspects, as well as five players who will fight for the last roster spot: Cory Jefferson, DeAndre Liggins, Eric Moreland, John Holland, Markel Brown, and Jonathan Holmes. Holmes, a 6'9" forward from Texas, is the newest addition.
Holmes was a four-year rotation player for the Longhorns, posting 10.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game as a senior in 2015. He was a player I was high on for the Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA draft , due to his defensive potential and rebounding ability. He went undrafted in the 2015 Draft, eventually landing on the Boston Celtics' Summer League team, and earning a training camp invite with the Los Angeles Lakers. Unfortunately, he dislocated his shoulder in a preseason game, and required surgery to repair a torn labrum. The Lakers subsequently waived him.
After using the summer to rehabilitate, he joined the Memphis Grizzlies for Summer League, and played well. In five contests, he averaged 6.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game, fitting in defensively and rebounding well next to center Vince Hunter. Now he's ready to attempt to make it into the NBA with the Cavs.
In all likelihood, Holmes is going to be using this as a tryout for the Canton Charge. He hasn't spent any time in the D-League yet, and this is a good opportunity for him to get some playing time in the preseason, given that LeBron James, Mike Dunleavy, and Richard Jefferson will not be playing much until the regular season gets started. Holmes is a body to use instead, and he can give LeBron and the power forwards a good showing in practice thanks to his physicality and defensive IQ. He's got a very low shot of making the team, but he should be able to stay on in the D-League with a strong showing.