Friday, March 19, 2010

Cavs set sights on Kaun

The Cavs have been watching and been quite pleased with what can be called a breakthrough season former University of Kansas center Sasha Kaun is having in Russia with CSKA Moscow.

The Cavs bought Kaun's draft rights from the Seattle SuperSonics in 2008 and have been keeping tabs on him. Assistant general manager Chris Grant went to see Kaun in Europe recently. After not getting much playing time last year as a rookie and then having a setback last summer because of a back injury, Kaun has  become of the most attractive young big men in Europe after an injury opened up playing time this season.

This week in an interview with the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, Kaun said he's been thinking about the NBA and may visit the topic this summer. "I definitely want to come back and play there," Kaun told the paper. "But a lot of variables are going into this decision so I can't say anything is concrete right now. We will see in the summer."

The 7-footer had another great game Sunday, scoring 23 points with six rebounds in a Russian Superleague contest. He's averaging 12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and shooting 72 percent in the Superleague games. In the top-level Euroleague -- European teams usually split competitions between in-country league and the major continental league -- Kaun is averaging 12.8 points and six rebounds over his last four games and nine points and 4.2 rebounds on 60 percent shooting for the season.

He's improved his defense and close-range shooting this season, he said. "I think I understand the game a lot better," Kaun said. "My defensive presence is better. I can help our team by guarding other good big guys and just help everyone else. And my finish around the basket got a little bit better. That's just what I hear."

Kaun, a Russian native, signed a three-year contract in 2008 with CSKA but has an out clause this summer. That has put him very much on the Cavs' radar. They may consider offering him a contract this summer. Also possibly playing into the decision is that Kaun is planning to marry an American girl he met while at Kansas in June.

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