Cavs close to signing Powe

Free-agent forward Leon Powe(notes) will sign a two-year contract for the league minimum with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday if the team’s doctors are satisfied with the progress of his injured left knee, a league source said.

Powe tore his anterior cruciate ligament and cartilage in his knee during Game 2 of the Boston Celtics’ first-round series against the Chicago Bulls. He had reconstructive surgery on May 5 – his third major knee surgery – and has been rehabilitating in Los Angeles. Powe hopes to be back on the court by this season’s All-Star break, and the Cavaliers are willing to take a low-risk gamble on him pending the results of his physical.

The Cavaliers will hold the option for the contract’s second season.

Powe averaged 7.7 points and 4.9 rebounds last season for the Celtics, but became an unrestricted free agent when Boston didn’t make him a qualifying offer.

If Powe returns to health, he could help fill a void on Cleveland’s roster left by the pending departure of Joe Smith(notes). Powe and LeBron James(notes) were once AAU teammates.


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Updated Monday, Aug 10, 2009