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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Larry not retired from NBA

Former Cavaliers guard Larry Hughes sat out the entire 2010-11 season. He wants to make it perfectly clear that he's not retired.

He recently told the Washington Post that he wants to return to the NBA this season - if there is a season.

He didn't get the offer he wanted in the summer of 2010 and missed the whole year.

“Obviously, I wanted to play,” Hughes said. “At the same time I wanted to be stable. I didn’t want to go to a situation where it was a one-year deal, or partial guarantee deal where at any time you could be out of there moving on. I wanted certain things after moving around the past three years, to different teams, I wanted something solid. If I didn’t get that, I wasn’t coming back.”

The 32-year-old guard said he still has game.

"Having a role on a team, a contending team, is what I’m looking for," he said. "We’ll see how it goes.”

He'll always be remembered in Cleveland for signing a five-year, $70 million contract in July 2005. At the time, I was wildly excited about the move.

I was filling in on the Indians' beat in New York when the signing occurred. I was so excited, but had no one to talk to about it until I went into the Tribe's locker room and pitcher CC Sabathia was as thrilled as I was.

I didn't really know CC, but we talked at length about the signing. I didn't realize how much he actually followed the NBA. He said he was friends with Drew Gooden, who was a forward with the Cavs at the time.

I always got the biggest kick out of Drew. He was a bit wacky, but he had talent. Acquiring him and Anderson Varejao from Orlando was one of the best trades former Cavs GM Jim Paxson ever made.

But back to Hughes. It was hard to criticize then GM Danny Ferry's move at the time. They needed a shooting guard in the worst way (much like this year's team). They had the money and had researched signing the other free agents on the market - Joe Johnson, Michael Redd and Ray Allen. None of them were coming to Cleveland. Hughes was coming off an All-Star-quality season with the Wizards.

They threw boatloads of money at Hughes, who failed miserably with the Cavs. He didn't work out well with LeBron James, contrary to what the Cavs thought. At first, it looked like a good signing, but he couldn't stay healthy and then copped one of the worst attitudes of any player I've ever covered.

By the time the Cavs included Hughes in a blockbuster deal with Chicago, he had completely worn out his welcome. He bounced around with the Bulls, Knicks and Bobcats before falling into oblivion last season.

He's averaged 14.2 points, 4.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds in his 12-year career.


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