CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers’ quest to find a veteran shooting guard has taken them in a surprising direction.
Three-time NBA All-Star Brandon Roy, who missed all of last season with career-threatening knee injuries, is being pursued by Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant.
Comcast SportsNet Northwest was first to report the Cavaliers’ interest, which was confirmed Tuesday by The Associated Press.
Roy averaged 19.0 points and 4.7 assists in five seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, but was forced to retire when his left and right knees did not recover sufficiently from arthroscopic surgeries in January 2011.
The 6-foot-6 slasher last appeared in a regular-season game April 12, 2011, and has undergone six knee operations, leaving him with little cartilage in either joint.
Roy, though, recently said that sitting out the entire 2011-2012 season has given him hope that he can return to the league. The University of Washington product will turn 28 on July 23.
Cleveland has not met with Roy at this point, according to the AP, but has spoken with his representatives to gauge his interest in joining the team.
The Warriors appear to be the leading contender to sign Roy, whose former agent, Bob Myers, is now their general manager. Golden State spoke with him Sunday — the opening day of the free-agency period — and is actively seeking a follow-up meeting.
Minnesota and Chicago have also expressed interest in Roy, who was paid $16.03 million last season by the Trail Blazers despite not playing in a game.
While the Cavaliers are seeking help in free agency, they lost one of their players and a top executive to other franchises Tuesday.
Center Semih Erden is returning to his native Turkey after signing a two-year guaranteed contract with Anadolu Efes. The Euroleague franchise also holds an option for a third season on the 7-footer, who played his first seven pro seasons in the Turkish/Adriatic League.
Erden, 25, averaged 3.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.18 blocked shots in 28 games last season for Cleveland, which retains his NBA rights.
The Cavaliers extended him a $1.1 million qualifying offer Saturday, making him a restricted free agent and ensuring that he is their property if he decides to return to the United States down the road.
Cleveland player personnel director Wes Wilcox is also moving on after being hired by the Atlanta Hawks as their assistant general manager. Ex-Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry was recently hired by Atlanta in the same role and has served as a mentor for Wilcox.
Wilcox is considered one of the league’s brighter young executives, but his career path in Cleveland was blocked by Grant and basketball operations director David Griffin.
Grant and Griffin will assume all of Wilcox’s responsibilities with the Cavaliers, as well as their NBA D-League affiliate in Canton. Wilcox also served as the general manager of the Charge, which advanced to the league semifinals last winter.
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