LeBron James’ preseason will consist of only one game.
The Cavaliers small forward had 17 points and eight turnovers in his first exhibition action Tuesday, a 108-94 loss to the Chicago Bulls at Quicken Loans Arena.
The four-time league MVP, who had been out with a sprained left ankle, limped several different times during the game and woke up with soreness Wednesday morning.
As a result, James, who hurt the ankle in Dwyane Wade’s first practice with the Cavs on Sept. 27, was held out of practice and won’t play in Cleveland’s final preseason game Friday in Orlando.
James received treatment while his teammates were practicing Wednesday, with coach Tyronn Lue saying, “I’m not sure if we should be concerned or not. But it’s pretty sore today, so we’ll just see what happens.”
There’s a chance James could miss the regular-season opener, something that has never happened in his 14 previous seasons, but a lot could change in the next few days. The Cavs will host former teammate Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
“(James is) pretty mad, pretty (ticked) off,” Lue said. “But it is what it is.”
Lue said J.R. Smith, who lost his starting shooting guard spot to Wade, will start for James in Orlando. Veteran point guard Jose Calderon will move into the 10-player rotation, with Iman Shumpert likely relieving Wade at shoot guard instead of Derrick Rose at point guard.
Also Wednesday, the Cavs waived 7-foot-3 center Edy Tavares and signed guard Isaac Hamilton.
Tavares appeared in two preseason games, averaging 2.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 4.9 minutes. The 25-year-old was originally signed on April 12 and played in Cleveland’s final regular-season game of 2016-17, blocking six shots in the second half.
Hamilton (6-4, 194) played at UCLA for three years and averaged 13.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 104 games, all starts. He went undrafted in 2017 and played three games for the Indiana Pacers’ summer league team, averaging 5.3 points.
The Cavs’ training camp roster remains at 20 players. The team can keep 17, but two must be on two-way contracts with the G League.