Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Tuesday that he will rest Irving, fresh off a gold medal performance at the summer Olympics, when Cleveland hosts the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
“Slowly just trying to get to a certain point,” Lue said of his plan for Irving, who has been limited from going full bore during training camp. “We kind of mapped out his schedule, just tomorrow he’s not going to play.”
Lue would not name the planned starter in Irving’s place at point guard. The Cavs signed veteran point guard Toney Douglas on Monday to a non-guaranteed deal. They also have the 5-foot-9 rookie Kay Felder as well as combo guards Jordan McRae and DeAndre Liggins who saw time at the position in the team’s annual Wine & Gold scrimmage over the weekend.
Lue said that McRae, added last season as a call-up from the D-League, has looked better at shooting guard than running the point.
“He’s been good when he plays the 2,” Lue said. “Trying to play him at the point, a new position for a guy that’s never played the point before and just making all the right reads, play calls, get into our sets … it’s not fair to him. But he’s been doing a good job with that. But, as far as when he plays the 2, he’s been really good.”
LeBron James will play against the Magic after sitting out the scrimmage. Four of the Cavs’ six preseason games are at home, and Lue said he will aim to have his stars play in those exhibition games at Quicken Loans Arena.
James, entering his 14th season and coming off six straight Finals appearances, did not seem concerned with how his workload is managed.
“I haven’t actually talked to Coach (Lue) about the preseason schedule,” James said Monday. “I mean, I’m OK either or. I can play or if he doesn’t want me to play, whatever, it doesn’t mean anything.”