INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- We knew it was coming, and the Cavaliers made it official Wednesday.
After only 15 games played with the team last season, and zero practices this year, Baron Davis was waived via the NBAs new amnesty rule. The 28 million Davis is owed over two years will now come off the teams salary cap.
And thats a biggie.
It gives us an unbelievable amount of flexibility, Cavs GM Chris Grant said, right after thanking Davis for his professionalism while he was here.
Its true, Davis was a pros pro -- and no matter where he lands next, hes likely to garner a standing ovation from the Cleveland fans upon his return. But hey, thats the way it goes when you stick around just long enough to beat LeBron James and the dreaded Miami Heat.
Earlier in the day, the Cavs reported Davis had a bulging disk in his lower back. He had yet to practice with the team because of it.
Word is, Davis will be out anywhere from two to three months with the injury. This year, thanks to the NBA lockout, thats practically the entire season. So finding a new home may be difficult for the 32-year old point guard. Not overly difficult, but perhaps more trying than hes used to.
Either way, the focus here is on the Cavs, and what it means for the future.
For the present, of course, it means giving the ball to No. 1 overall draft pick Kyrie Irving and getting out of the way. Irving has made that concept easier by having shined in practice and impressing coach Byron Scott.
Thats not to say Scott was happy to see Davis go. The two were close, and Davis had a firm grasp of Scotts offense. He was Scotts voice on the floor -- and with a healthy Davis, you can be sure the Cavs wouldve won another five games, maybe more.
I love Baron, Scott said prior to the announcement Davis had been amnestied. But I also want the best for him and I want the best for this team and this organization. Whatever decision we make, whatever we do, is fine with me.
As Grant indicated, it now gives the Cavs tons of wiggle room under the salary cap. That will especially be the case if they allow their 14.5 million trade exception expire Friday -- which is exactly what you can expect them to do.
Factor in Antawn Jamisons contract coming off the books in the summer, and the Cavs will be somewhere around 20 million under the salary cap. Thats big-time money for a big-time free agent or a big-time trade. Or maybe better yet, several young pieces.
Basically, losing Davis gives the Cavs options. And they are options that can put this team back in contention pretty quickly.
Davis was great in his time here. Magnificent, actually. Both on the court and off. But in the business of the NBA, the Cavs did the right thing. They officially gave the ball to Irving and gave themselves the relief needed to help him (and all the youngsters) to have a real shot at success.
Backup shooting guard Manny Harris will miss two weeks after suffering a burn to the side of his right foot, the Cavs announced Wednesday.
It has been reported Harris suffered the injury at the Nike training facility in Portland, Ore.
Harris agent, Henry Thomas, called it some sort of freezer-type burn on his foot (while) working out before he headed to training camp.
Either way, Harris job with the Cavs is now in jeopardy. His saving grace may be the fact the team isnt exactly stacked at shooting guard.
But even that is no guarantee, according to his coach.
Obviously, its hard to make the team if youre not out there on the floor, Scott said. Its hard when we have all these other guys out there on the floor and hes not. I want him to get out there. It would be a shame to let go of a guy who hadnt had a chance to fight for his job.
Harris averaged 5.9 points in 54 games last season, his first as a pro.