The Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday signed NBA Development League big man Lance Allred, who started his career at the University of Utah and finished it at Weber State, to a 10-day contract.

It's the first NBA call-up for the undrafted Allred, who was averaging 16.2 points on 51.2 percent field shooting and 10.0 rebounds in 38 games for the D-League's Idaho Stampede.

It's also quite a rise from relative obscurity for the hearing-impaired Allred, a 1998-99 first-team all-state selection and Utah Gatorade Player of the Year from East High.

"The word on Lance Allred is I'm not a freak, I'm not the athlete that you spend a draft pick on," he said after working out for the Jazz along with lottery pick Charlie Villanueva prior to the 2005 NBA Draft. "I'm the type of guy that comes to summer-team camps, that the coaches like, that works hard and gets picked up there.

"The latest rage," Allred added at the time, "is to spend draft picks on talent, rather than proven numbers. I'm a proven-numbers, hard-worker guy, but I don't have 'untapped ability.' It's frustrating, but that's been the story of my life."

The 6-foot-11, 250-pound center was averaging 29.6 minutes per game for Idaho this season.

Allred, 27, also played — as did Jazz rookie Morris Almond and Kyrylo Fesenko — in last month's D-League All-Star Game, part of the NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

Cleveland made the move in part because Cavalier centers Zydrunas Ilgauskas (bulging disc) and Ben Wallace (muscle spasms) both have been battling back issues.

Leading-rebounder Ilgauskas missed his seventh straight game Thursday, sitting out Cleveland's 101-99 loss at Washington. Wallace missed Cleveland loss Wednesday to New Jersey, but did play against the Wizards.

To make roster room for Allred, who didn't play Thursday, the Cavs allowed the second 10-day contracts of previous D-League call-ups Kaniel Dickens and Billy Thomas to expire.

Dickens was Utah's 2000 second-round draft choice, but never did play a regular-season game for the Jazz.

E-mail: [email protected]