INDEPENDENCE — Coby Karl survived and Andre Barrett didn’t.
The Cavaliers set their roster at the NBA maximum of 15 players Thursday evening by waiving Barrett, a 5-foot-10 point guard, guard Russell Robinson and big man Darryl Watkins.
The final decision likely came down to keeping the 6-foot-5, 205-pound Karl, who can play both guard positions, over Barrett, a Seton Hall product who played 67 games over four years for Houston, Orlando. Phoenix, Toronto, Chicago and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Karl, the son of current Denver coach and former Cavaliers boss George Karl, played his college ball at Boise State and appeared in 17 games for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007-08.
“Coby’s a guy who seems to be able to do a little bit of everything,” Cleveland coach Mike Brown said recently.
The moves mean Cleveland’s roster breaks down this way, though a number of the players listed below can and will play more than one position:
Point guard: Mo Williams, Delonte West, Daniel Gibson.
Shooting guard: Anthony Parker, Danny Green, Coby Karl.
Small forward: LeBron James, Jamario Moon, Jawad Williams.
Power forward: Anderson Varejao, J.J. Hickson, Darnell Jackson, Leon Powe.
Center: Shaquille O”Neal, Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
O’Neal, Parker, Moon, Green, Karl and Powe will be new faces on a team that went an NBA-best 66-16 in the 2008-09 regular season but lost to Orlando in six games in the Eastern Conference finals. O’Neal and Parker will start in the season opener against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena, while Moon will be part of the team’s rotation.
“The pieces we’ve added, we feel really good about,” Brown said. “We felt we were really good last year. To add the length and athleticism that we did in Shaq and Jamario and Anthony Parker, we feel really good about. Our basketball IQ has really gone up.”
The Cavaliers must designate 12 active players for each game, meaning three players will be inactive.
One will be Powe, who is recuperating from knee surgery and won’t play until at least mid-February.
Barring further injuries, two out of the group of Green, Karl, Williams and Jackson will likely join him on the inactive list.
However, there is a chance West, who did not play in eight preseason games but dressed for the final two, could be inactive if the Cavaliers decide he’s not ready to play in their opener.
West, who was fined for a two-day unexcused absence from camp and then was gone for almost a week with the team’s permission, has a Nov. 20 court date in Maryland on weapons charges and faces an NBA suspension when his legal matters are concluded.
The St. Joseph’s product missed almost two weeks of camp last year, but returned to win the starting shooting guard spot. Brown has said if management clears West to play, he’ll be in the team’s rotation in the opener.
An EA Sports video game simulation of the entire 2009-10 season using NBA Live 10 resulted in the Cavaliers defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in a seven-game series in the NBA Finals. James was named MVP in the regular season and finals. To get to the finals, the Cavaliers, who went 61-21 during the regular season, defeated Miami, Chicago and Orlando, while the Lakers, who won 63 games, got past Utah, Denver and San Antonio.
- Who: Cleveland vs. Boston (regular season opener)
- When: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: Quicken Loans Arena
- TV/radio: TNT; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.