Cavaliers get another L.J.

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 25, 2004

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Cavaliers have a new L.J. - one without all the hype.

Desperate for an outside shooter and someone to take pressure off LeBron James, the Cavaliers selected small forward Luke Jackson with the No. 10 overall pick in Thursday night's NBA draft.

Despite rampant rumors before the draft that they would make a trade, the Cavs stayed put and grabbed Jackson, a four-year starter at Oregon who shot 46 percent from the field - 40 on 3-pointers - during his college career.

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''It wasn't just his ability to shoot the ball,'' Cavaliers general manager Jim Paxson said. ''We think he's a good basketball player.''

And one with a little attitude.

Cavaliers coach Paul Silas was impressed by Jackson's swagger during a recent workout in Chicago.

''He told me, 'Coach, I can play,''' Silas said. ''I liked hearing that. I told him LeBron is going to kick his butt. He said, 'Bring him on.'''

Jackson was a star with the Ducks, finishing as the only player in school history to rank in the Top 10 in nine offensive categories. However, he already knows his role will be different in Cleveland.

''I'm excited to play with LeBron,'' Jackson said. ''I'm a competitive guy and I can take the burden off him a little bit by being able to shoot outside shots.''

The Cavaliers had plenty of players who took shots last season, but not many who made them.

Cleveland was ranked 29th - dead last - in the NBA in 3-point accuracy, and earlier this week they lost their best outside shooter, Jason Kapono, to Charlotte in the expansion draft.

The club helped offset the loss of Kapono by trading a future first-round pick to the Bobcats for Sasha Pavlovic, who played for Utah last season.

Pavlovic has excellent range, but not like Jackson, who made 44 percent (73-for-166) of his 3-pointers as a senior.