Fans know what LeBron James is going to give the Cavs. And they certainly will miss plenty from their two wayward free agents — guard Sasha Pavlovic and forward Anderson Varejao. But what about the rest of the team? Here’s a look:
1 Daniel Gibson, 6-2, 194, second year, Texas
Emerged as a major contributor in the playoffs. The Cavs will need more from him this season. He has shown he can shoot, but the Cavs will need him to him to be a playmaker, too. That means he needs to do better than the 2.8 assists he averaged in 29 minutes per game during the preseason.
6 Shannon Browns, 6-4, 211, second year, Michigan State
A strong, athletic scorer who played in just 23 games last season. He should have a chance to earn a spot in the rotation, but needs to be more consistent. His 20 turnovers compared to just five assists in the preseason are a reminder that he is essentially a rookie this year.
19 Damon Jones, 6-3, 195, 10th year, Houston
A 3-point specialist who can play point guard. He wanted to be traded in the offseason but he’s still here and he could see more minutes with Eric Snow’s injury.
20 Eric Snow, 6-3, 205, 13th year, Michigan State
Underwent knee surgery at the start of camp, which will delay his season a few weeks. When healthy, he is the team’s only true point guard, providing defense and leadership.
32 Larry Hughes, 6-5, 185, 10th year, Saint Louis
Spent time in the offseason working on his jump shot with Mark Price. The Cavs hope that pays off in him improving last year’s 40 percent shooting (33.3 percent on 3-pointers). His 39.2 percent shooting in the preseason (1-for-9 on 3s) shows he still needs to work at it. He’s at his best when he attacks the basket. Good passer and defender.
33 Devin Brown, 6-5, 220, sixth year, Texas-San Antonio
Brings versatility to the floor. He can defend guards and forwards. Offensively, he is not afraid to get to the basket and is a career 35 percent shooter from 3-point range.
11 Zydrunas Ilgauskas, 7-3, 260, 10th year, Lithuania
Has seen it all since the Cavs drafted him 1996, and he is still one of the better centers in the East after more than a decade. He can still knock down the 15-footer, in addition to rebounding and blocking shots.
14 Ira Newble, 6-7, 220, eighth year, Miami (Ohio)
Played only 139 minutes last season, including the playoffs. A good defender but not much of an offensive threat. He started 69 games in 2004-05, but has played in only 51 games the past two seasons with four starts.
15 Cedric Simmons, 6-9, 235, second year, North Carolina State
A first-round pick of the Hornets last year, he came to the Cavs in a trade just before camp began. He has been slowed by an ankle injury, but with his size and long arms, the team likes his potential as a rebounder and shot blocker.
24 Donyell Marshall, 6-9, 245, 14th year, Connecticut
Provides 3-point shooting along with solid rebounding and defense. With the Cavs short-handed up front, he could play a significant role early.
27 Dwayne Jones, 6-11, 251, third year, St. Joseph’s
A raw, young big man with a limited offensive game. His biggest strength, though, is he knows his limitations and he hustles. He opened some eyes by averaging 7.0 rebounds per game during the preseason. He even hit clutch free throws with less than a second left to force overtime against Detroit in what became the team’s only preseason win.
44 Anthony Tolliver, 6-9, 245, first year, Creighton
Made the team as a training camp invitee, but played in just three preseason games, totaling 20 minutes. He was a first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference pick last season, averaging 13.4 points and 6.7 rebounds.
90 Drew Gooden, 6-10, 250, sixth year, Kansas
Put him down for 11 points and eight or nine rebounds a game. He is capable of heating up as a shooter from time to time. But his biggest strength is as a rebounder.
Demetris Nichols, 6-8, 216, first year, Syracuse
Averaged 4.8 points in five preseason games for the Knicks. He was originally selected by the Trail Blazers in the second round of this year’s draft, then later traded to New York for a 2008 second-round pick. He led the Big East in scoring last season with an average of 18.9 points.
-- The Repository