The Cleveland Cavaliers are rebuilding after Kyrie Irving and LeBron James left in back-to-back years. Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, are meant to be the glue that holds the team’s young core together, and it might be a while before they’re able to lead a playoff push. Cleveland’s first-year head coach, John Beilein, is adjusting to the NBA after leaving Michigan. But some veterans appear to be fighting the new leadership. Something must he done to reset the Cavaliers’ culture.
Latest news, rumors, analysis for Cleveland Cavaliers before trade deadline
Update, Jan. 27: Kevin Love has expressed that his preference is to be traded to a contending team. However, according to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor, Love wouldn’t mind staying with the Cavs the rest of the season, either. The veteran PF has been up and down expressing his emotions to the media this season. It wasn’t too long ago he was frustrated to the point in which he was being fined by the team. You could see him visibly upset on the court with younger teammates. Now, he’s suddenly OK with whatever happens before the deadline? Okay.
I still think Love will most likely be traded, but I could also see a scenario where the Cavs just hold onto him because moving him doesn’t do them much good. Love’s contract isn’t easy to move, which is why teams don’t want to break the bank to acquire him. He’s still owed over $28.9M in each of the next three seasons. It’s in the best interest for Cleveland to part ways with veterans for assets to build around its young back court of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. That may not be feasible until the offseason, though.
— Ben Zweiman
Ship off Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson
It’s clear that the Cavaliers is going nowhere fast this season. Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson have been vocal about how much they dislike the direction Cleveland is going. Thompson is in the final year of am $82 million deal while Love’s $120 million isn’t set to expire until 2023. Neither has the patience or youth to wait out a rebuilding process, but could fetch a decent price on the trade market. Whether that’s more young assets or future draft pics remains to be seen. Cleveland needs a fresh start, and this is the best thing it can do to begin a new chapter.
Decide on how to build a winner
It’s still early for Cleveland, but that doesn’t change that fact that it needs to evaluate what kind of pieces would benefit it best. That goes for free agency, trades, and the draft. The Cavaliers’ decision to draft a point guard like Garland the year after Sexton was selected as a lottery pick was a bit confusing. Does Cleveland want to chase the Portland Trailblazers’ model of rallying around two scoring guards? There’s been no indication that the duo of young guards can be the next Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and the draft will bring new prospects into the fold. Cleveland is on track to get another top five pick, so its trade and free agency moves could be dependent upon what it prioritizes in the draft.