Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Samardo Samuels hasn’t seen much action throughout the first 30 games of the NBA season. He has seen time in just over half of the games that the Wine and Gold have been apart of thus far, logging on average 10.9 minutes in the 18 games in which he has played in. For now, Samuels will be assigned to the Canton Charge and will play in the game against the Tulsa 66ers, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s D-League team, on Friday per Cavs General Manager Chris Grant.
Grant will also be attendance in Friday night’s game, which will take place at the Canton Memorial Civic Center with a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. This will be the first of back-to-back games against the 66ers, who boast rookie Perry Jones III and second-year players Jeremy Lamb and Reggie Jackson on their roster. Grant being in attendance and assigning Samuels to the Charge could be an attempt to test the three young players and see them compete up close.
Ever since Anderson Varejao started the season with a slew of impressive rebounding and scoring efforts, trade rumors involving the Brazilian star intensified. The Thunder was once one of those teams that surfaced in those reports. Varejao, who has missed the last four games and will miss both games this weekend, is currently averaging 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds.
Jones, Lamb and Jackson have all contributed greatly to Tulsa’s success through 11 games this season. The most recent assignee, Jackson has averaged 28.0 points, 8.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds in three D-League games while shooting 60 percent form the field. Jones, who has played one more game with the 66ers than Jackson, is averaging 11.5 points and 5.3 rebounds. Lamb, who has contributed in seven Tulsa games, is averaging 23.0 points, while shooting 35.7 percent from three. Grant will be keeping an eye on these three players as possible trade pieces in a Varejao deal.
Samuels will look to get back to where he was at during Summer League play, when he averaged 12.2 points and 6.8 rebounds. In his time with the Cavs this season, he has only managed to average 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds. Granted he has seen limited playing time and the quality of play between Summer League squads and the NBA is immeasurable, I still thought that Samuels would see more action than Coach Byron Scott has utilized him in so far.
On a different note, the Cavaliers displayed a perfect example of how tough of a business the NBA can be at times. Point guard Donald Sloan was waived on Christmas in order to pick up former Washington Wizards point guard Shaun Livingston, who was waived on December 23. I would assume that Sloan will be picked up by the Charge relatively soon, but it has to be tough getting that call on Christmas day.
Livingston, who suffered one of the most excruciating knee injuries ever to happen in an NBA game in 2007, has been trying to make a comeback ever since going down. Things haven’t gone as the former No. 4 overall pick would have liked, but at least he is giving an effort. His addition adds much-needed size to the Cavs roster, as he is a 6-7 guard who can run the point. In 17 games this season, he has averaged 3.7 points, 2.2 assists and 2.2 rebounds with the Wizards. He has yet to see any action with the Wine and Gold thus far since being added to the roster.
We will see what comes of Samuels and Livingston this weekend as far as playing time goes, when the Cavs host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday and travel to face the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.