Cleveland Cavaliers Send Player Down In Order To Build Him Back Up

By Nick Claussen


David Richard – USA TODAY Sports

You can’t have confidence without Canton.

That, or something like that, is the message the Cleveland Cavaliers have sent to Jon Leuer by assigning him to the NBA D-League for a time to get back his swagger.

Head Coach Byron Scott told media members on Monday that confidence is the biggest thing that Leuer needs to work on while he is playing for the organization’s D-League franchise, the Canton Charge.

Scott explained that Leuer has a lot of talent, but the big man does not seem to believe enough in his ability.

“I can’t have more confidence in you than you have in yourself,” Scott said. He is hoping that Leuer’s time in Canton will help him get his confidence back so that he can contribute for the Cavaliers.

So far in his time in the D-League, Leuer has performed very well. He has had four straight double-doubles and has looked great at times. On Saturday night against the Iowa Energy, for example he scored 20 points, pulled down 16 rebounds, passed out 3 assists and had 1 steal.

And in another of his double-double nights, Leuer scored 23 points while shooting 8 for 19 against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He also pulled down 10 rebounds, dished out 3 assists and had 1 steal in that game.

So what does it mean that Leuer is playing well in Canton, especially when he hardly played at all up in Cleveland?

Well, it does validate what Scott said about the kid having talent.  The 6-10 forward out of Wisconsin is in just his second NBA season and he still has time to learn the game and get better. In his first season, he played 46 games for the Milwaukee Bucks and started 12 of them. Leuer moves fairly well for his size, and he has some ability and potential.

It could be that his time in the D-League will help him gain some confidence and attitude, and he could come back to Cleveland and start contributing along the front line.

Or, he could just end up being a very good D-League player, and just another benchwarmer for an NBA team. I’m sure he is hoping for the former, but I would definitely accept the latter for my life if I could.

It will be interesting to see how Leuer progresses while he plays in Canton, and then see how he responds when he gets minutes with the Cavaliers later in the year. I think it’s a great move and it will help him improve.


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