Cavaliers weighing decision on guard Baron Davis

By Tom Withers

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Dec. 9 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Baron Davis walks away after talking with reporters at NBA basketball training camp on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011, in Independence, Ohio.

Mark Duncan, Associated Press

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Baron Davis remains one of Cleveland's starting guards. That could change at any time.

On Friday, Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant said Davis has reported for training camp, and that the club has not decided whether to waive the veteran by using the NBA's new "amnesty clause."

However, Cavs coach Byron Scott may have hinted that Davis' days are numbered when he was asked if the former All-Star could be a mentor to rookie Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 overall draft pick.

"To be honest with you, you know who the best mentor for Kyrie is? You're looking at him," said Scott, who is beginning his second season with Cleveland. "You're looking at him. I've had this situation with Chris Paul (in New Orleans) as well. I don't want to sound cocky, but you're looking at him. I'm the best."

Davis, who missed most of the first practice session with back tightness, didn't say how long he thinks he will remain with the Cavaliers.

"I'm here, I'm here, I'm here," he said. "I'm living in the present. I love Cleveland. I love the fans. I love my teammates. This is a great organization. I appreciate each and every moment I'm here. That's all that I'm really focused on. That's all I can control is what happens with today."

Asked about the possibility of joining a contender instead of playing with the rebuilding Cavaliers, Davis said, "I like the Cleveland Cavaliers. I think we have some good young guys who are talented as well as athletic. As a veteran, it's great to be in a situation where people look up to you. This has been a phenomenal situation for me because Coach Scott lets me talk a lot and be an extension of him on the floor. I'm embracing it and enjoying it."

Davis said his back tightened up doing a light running drill, but he doesn't believe it's anything serious. He also played with a sore knee last season.

The Cavs are trying to decide if it makes more sense to move forward with or without the 32-year-old Davis, who was acquired in a trade last season with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Cavs have contemplated using the "amnesty clause" in the new labor agreement that allow teams to cut and pay players while also getting salary-cap and luxury-tax relief. The team could pay Davis the roughly $28 million he is owed for the next two seasons and let him leave as a free agent. They could also negotiate a buyout with him.

The team has had talks with Davis' representatives. Grant was asked if Davis had requested his release.

"We are not going to get into any private negotiations or discussions that we have with our players or anyone else," he said.

The most pressing concern for the Cavs is turning their offense over to Irving, the former Duke standout who turned pro after playing just 11 games last season because of a foot injury. Cleveland went just 19-63 last season and is hoping Irving and forward Tristan Thompson, the No. 4 overall pick, can get them back to contending status.

If Davis stays with Cleveland, Scott said it's possible he and Irving could be on the floor at the same time.

"I've been known to do that, to play point guards together," he said.

Irving would like to get the chance to play with Davis.

"He's a great asset to our team," Irving said. "He brings a lot of veteran leadership. It would be great to have him here."

Davis believes Irving has unlimited potential.

"Kyrie has a great future ahead of him," he said. "It would be great for me to see him years down the line when I'm sitting on my couch with my kids and say, 'Hey, I used to play with that kid.' "

The Cavaliers signed Irving and Thompson on Friday. Financial terms on the deals were not immediately known.

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