Cavaliers Jamario Moon crossed his fingers and kept them that way all last week. Only when the Miami Heat declined to match the Cavaliers' two-year, $6 million offer sheet to the restricted free agent did the forward relax at the news he was headed to Cleveland to play alongside LeBron James.
The Cavaliers had their fingers crossed, too. But they're staying that way even after Moon arrived in Cleveland on Monday. The supporting cast for James is shaping up the way General Manager Danny Ferry hoped it might this summer, but there's no news on whether James will be in Cleveland beyond 2010.
The Cavaliers offered James a contract extension July 18, the first day possible to extend up to a three-year, $65 million offer on his most recent contract. James has an option in his contract for the 2010-11 season, and has until June 30, 2010, to extend the deal or pick up his option.
Officially, however, neither side will comment on negotiations.
"I don't think it's appropriate to say anything beyond the fact that we've talked to [agent] Leon Rose and reached out to LeBron," Ferry said Monday at the Cavaliers Youth Fund Golf Classic in Westfield Center.
The plan is to build the best team around James now in hopes that he'll stay in Cleveland. With this summer's additions of center Shaquille O'Neal, guard Anthony Parker and now Moon, both Ferry and coach Mike Brown seem buoyed by the added athleticism and length.
"And we didn't have to give up core guys to achieve that," Ferry said.
The 6-8 Moon has averaged 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds since breaking into the NBA two seasons ago. The Cavaliers hope his length and mobility will help defensively, in particular.
"I wanted to be a part of this organization," Moon said. "I've been watching what they've been doing, and I figured I could come here and take some pressure off LeBron on the defensive end."
A late-bloomer, the 29-year-old Moon played for 13 different teams in various leagues before joining the NBA with Toronto in 2007. He spent last season with Miami after a midseason trade, and said he is eager to play for his third NBA team in three seasons for one simple reason.
"I'm sure it'll be a whole lot easier to play with LeBron than against him," Moon said, smiling.
Preseason game set: The Cavaliers have at least one preseason game for this fall secured, even if the rest haven't yet been announced. Olympiacos Piraeus, the Greek team that former Atlanta guard Josh Childress plays for, will travel to Cleveland on Oct. 12. The Cavaliers last played a Euroleague team in 2006 when they beat Maccabi Tel Aviv at The Q.
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