Key Storylines for Cleveland Cavaliers' Summer League Team

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterJuly 10, 2013

July 17, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA;   Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters (3) during the game against the Phoenix Suns at the Thomas and Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers' 2013 Summer League team tips off for the first time on July 12th against the Los Angeles Lakers.

They will also face the Memphis Grizzlies on July 14th and the New Orleans Pelicans on July 15th before tournament play begins the following day. 

Here are some players and storylines to watch for as the Cavs take the court in Las Vegas over the next week.

Summer League Roster

The Cavs' summer league roster features a mixture of current NBA players and former college standouts all competing at a shot at this falls' squad.

Here is the complete roster, via

Matthew Dellavedova G St. Mary's
Carrick Felix G/F Arizona State
Justin Harper F Richmond
Josh Heytvelt F/C Gonzaga
Cory Higgins G Colorado
Kevin Jones F West Virginia
Kenny Kadji G/F Miami
Chris Quinn G Notre Dame
Jermaine Taylor G Central Florida
Dion Waiters G Syracuse
Tyler Zeller C North Carolina

Names that immediately stand out are 2012 first rounder's Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller.

Both played on the Cavs' summer team last year and should be the overwhelming leaders on the squad.

Last summer, Zeller averaged 11.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game.  Waiters chipped in 12.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 30 minutes a game.


Roster Security

As is the case on most summer league teams, few players will get a crack at the big club.  Waiters and Zeller are locks, as both were starters last season for the Cavs.

After them, no player should feel safe.

The next likeliest to make the team would be 2013 second-round pick Carrick Felix.  He's a versatile G/F combo that can play lockdown defense.  It would be surprising if he doesn't make the final roster after being the 33rd overall pick in the draft.

Kevin Jones played in 32 games for the Cavaliers last season, providing depth at power forward.  Given that the Cavs drafted Anthony Bennett and signed Earl Clark, who both play the same position, Jones may have to put up MVP summer league numbers to stay on the final roster.

Chris Quinn is the only other player on the roster who played for the Cavs last season.  He was a late-season signing, brought on to provide depth at the guard position.  The signing of Jarrett Jack may spell the end of Quinn in Cleveland, no matter how well he plays in these games.

The dark horse of the bunch may be shooting guard Cory Higgins.  The 24-year-old former University of Colorado star played very well in the D-League last season, averaging 17.6 points and 4.3 rebounds a game.


Keep an Eye On

Waiters' improvement from last summer to this one will be crucial.

Last year, Waiters admitted he was out of shape and shot just 30.0 percent from the field in his three games.

With no Kyrie Irving on the roster with him, Waiters will likely handle a lot of the point guard duties.

Look for him to be vastly improved from a year ago.

Felix will be another interesting player to watch. 

He was vastly unknown heading into the draft, even after a successful career at Arizona State.  At the NBA Draft Combine, Felix recorded a 38.5 inch maximum vertical and measured in at just 3.3 percent body fat.

His ability to defend multiple positions made him most attractive to the Cavaliers, however, he'll need to prove his D to earn not just a spot on the Cavs, but playing time as well.

The Cavaliers will have just over three games to do some serious talent evaluating, but they should come away with some valuable insight into some of their young players.


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