Let’s get the $64,000 question out of the way: Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum has not been cleared to play in the season opener against the Brooklyn Nets.
However, the 7-foot, 294-pounder doesn’t appear to be far away from playing.
“Whenever he’s ready, we’ll welcome him with open arms,” Cavs swingman C.J. Miles said.
Bynum, 25, hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since May 21, 2012. He missed the entire season in Philadelphia last season after having surgery on both knees.
After signing a two-year, $25.5 million deal with the Cavs last summer, he didn’t appear in a preseason game.
“He’s been practicing 5-on-5 the last week-and-a-half,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said. “When it gets to the point where we all feel he’s (ready to play), we’ll clear him.”
The Cavs players are almost in awe of how big he is.
“You can’t teach size for one,” Miles said. “You can’t teach talented size. There are not a lot of guys that big that do what he does that aren’t strictly space-eaters.
“Sometimes you forget until you get out on the floor with him, but he’s humongous. He’ll turn around and you’ll be standing there and it makes you feel like a little kid out there. I couldn’t imagine wrestling with him on every play like Henry (Sims), Andy (Varejao) and Tristan (Thompson) and those guys.”
Bynum and rookie guard Carrick Felix (hernia) will likely be two of the players on the inactive list for Wednesday’s game.
In other news:
-- Brown said he’s leaning toward starting Earl Clark at small forward against the Nets. He cautioned that the decision could change and that neither Clark nor Alonzo Gee distinguished himself in the battle for the small forward position.
n Backup center Tyler Zeller has been cleared to play. He missed the entire preseason with an appendectomy.
-- Rookie swingman Sergey Karasev (sprained left ankle) has been cleared for a full practice, but not yet for game action. He’ll likely be available for the Nets game.
Another story line for the 7 p.m. game on Wednesday will be the return of Brown as coach. He was hired in the offseason after being fired by the Cavs in 2010 and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012.
He said he couldn’t be happier to be back on the bench at The Q.
“It’s exciting to be back here in Cleveland,” Brown said. “My wife and I are tickled to be here. I’ll be thrilled to death to be at The Q on Wednesday night. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”