Cleveland Cavaliers forward Samardo Samuels suffered a drop in minutes, points and rebounds per game during his sophomore season in the NBA, so he entered the offseason more committed to keeping his weight under control and listening to the feedback from Cavs coaches. The early returns are in, and head coach Byron Scott is impressed, as he told Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:
"I think our conversation at the end of the season finally started paying dividends. He finally started to listen. It was good to see he really took care of himself this summer, not only worked out but worked his body. I'm not the only coach who sat down and talked to him about what he needed to do this summer coming into training camp. He did everything he needed to do."
Samuels is just 23 years old, and now he will be competing with Jon Leuer and Tristan Thompson for playing time in the frontcourt along with rookie center Tyler Zeller and veteran big man Anderson Varejao.
The Cavaliers open their preseason schedule at Quicken Loans Arena with a matchup against Montepaschi Siena of the Euroleague on Monday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. ET. They play their first NBA opponent on Oct. 9, when they meet up with Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and the Milwaukee Bucks at the Canton Memorial Civic Center.