September 15, 2014

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Cavaliers: Team signs draft picks, including top choice Bennett

INDEPENDENCE — Anthony Bennett just became a very rich young man, and Sergey Karasev and Carrick Felix didn’t fare too poorly, either.
The Cavaliers announced Tuesday afternoon that they had agreed to terms with all three of their 2013 draft picks — No. 1 overall choice Bennett, No. 19 Karasev and second-round pick (No. 33 overall) Felix.
The 20-year-old Bennett will earn a shade over $5.3 million as a rookie, almost $5.6 million in 2014-15 and $5.8 million in 2015-16, for a three-year total of almost $16.7 million.
The 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward can sign a contract extension after his third season, and almost all rookies do. If he doesn’t, the Cavs can pick up a team option that would pay the UNLV product more than $7.3 million in 2016-17.
A fifth-year qualifying offer that almost never comes into play could potentially pay Bennett another $9.5 million, making the total value of his deal $33.5 million over five years.
The 19-year-old Karasev, a 6-7, 203-pound swingman out of Russia, will earn $1.47 million as a rookie and $4.6 million over his first three seasons. Like Bennett, he can sign a contract extension at that point.
If needed, the left-hander’s fourth-year team option would pay him $2.46 million, with the seldom-used fifth-year qualifying offer at $3.5 million, for a total value of almost $10.6 million.
Felix, a 6-6, 210-pound swingman out of Arizona State, signed a four-year deal for $3.3 million, though the final season is not guaranteed. His deal, which will pay him $510,000 as a rookie, was reported several weeks ago.
Bennett, who has said he will be ready when training camp opens in October after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, was the first Canadian player drafted No. 1 overall. The Toronto native has played for Canada’s junior national teams and was named Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year in his lone college season.
The long-armed Bennett is considered a power forward with perimeter shooting skills by the Cavs, who also have Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson at that position. The rookie also could eventually see some minutes at small forward, where the team remains thin.
Karasev, who could challenge incumbent Alonzo Gee and free-agent signee Earl Clark for the starting small forward job, led Russia to the gold medal at the World University Games. He’s also capable of playing shooting guard.
The defensive-minded and athletic Felix earned second-team honors in the Pac-12 as a senior and is a lock to make the team.
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.