October 26, 2014

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Cavaliers: Mo to miss start of camp with injury

INDEPENDENCE – He begged not to be traded. He has said he considered retiring when LeBron James left the Cavaliers for Miami.

Now he’s hurt.

The Cavaliers, who will hold their annual media day Monday and start practicing Tuesday, announced Friday that point guard Mo Williams suffered pain in his right groin while working out at Cleveland Clinic Courts.

The Cavs said Williams, arguably the best player remaining from teams that won an NBA-best 126 regular-season games over the past two seasons, is expected to participate in low-impact activities at the start of camp, but likely won’t practice fully until mid-October.

The Cavaliers’ first preseason game is Oct. 5. They open the regular season Oct. 27 against the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.

Williams, the subject of a few offseason trade rumors and a good friend of two-time reigning league MVP James, was examined by team physician Dr. Richard Parker and underwent an MRI at the Cleveland Clinic.

Tests revealed inflammation in his groin. The point guard will undergo a period of treatment and rehab at Cleveland Clinic Courts, the team said.

With Williams out, his former Milwaukee teammate, Ramon Sessions, acquired from Minnesota in the offseason, will likely work with the first team.

Williams, often the Cavs’ third or fourth option with James and Shaquille O’Neal on the roster, averaged 15.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists last season, but struggled mightily in the playoffs for the second straight year.

Cavs name new VP

The Cavaliers have hired David Griffin as vice president of basketball operations. Griffin, who spent 17 seasons with the Phoenix Suns, will work closely with first-year general manager Chris Grant, who took over when Danny Ferry left the club this summer.

Griffin will oversee the team’s scouting and player personnel areas as well as the draft. He turned down previous GM offers in Denver and Memphis.

The Cavs also named Michael Blackstone as executive director of basketball operations, Derek Millender as assistant strength and conditioning coach and physical training coordinator for player development, Stephen Spiro as assistant athletic trainer and Kwame Graves-Fulgham as video coordinator.

Grant also announced the promotions of David Henderson to director of East Coast scouting, Wes Wilcox to director of player personnel, Trent Redden to basketball operations manager/scout, Dan Vincent to assistant video coordinator/advance scout manager and Larisha Whatley to player programs and team services manager.

“We are extremely proud to promote and advance the careers of the high-quality people already within our organization. These individuals have helped us develop our strong foundation,” Grant said. “At the same time, we are pleased to have built an organization and a culture that attracts talented, successful, hard-working individuals.”

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com.