Did the Cleveland Cavaliers Position Themselves To Fail?
I will admit I had higher expectations of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are now 4-12, when the season first started. They signed Bynum as a free agent and I was expecting Kyrie Irving to have a breakout year. Let me break down Irving's stats from last year compared to this year...
Irving 2012-2013: 22.5 ppg, 5.9 apg, 3.7 rpg, 45.2% FG, 39.1% 3PT, 3.2 tpg, 1.5 spg,
Irving 2013 so far... 20.8 ppg, 5.9 apg, 3.4 rpg, 40.6% FG, 31.2% 3PT, 3.4 tpg, 0.9 spg
The Cavaliers then signing Mike Brown as their new coach which was a huge head scratcher for me. I never liked Mike Brown and I thought there were better options available for the Cavaliers. I just feel the system their running does not fit what their team needs. Their recent drafts have been questionable as well, where better players have been available for the team. Let's start with the 2011 draft...
#1 pick - Kyrie Irving. No question there, this is an all-star player who IMO, will be getting better regardless of how he has regressed this season.
#4 pick - Tristan Thompson. At this point I thought Thompson was a reach especially with the players that were available at that moment (Valanciunas, Klay Thompson, or they could have even traded that pick to move lower in the draft where Vucevic, Faried, Leonard and Tobias Harris was available.)
Now let's move to the 2012 draft...
#4 pick - Dion Waiters. He isn't a bad player... but he isn't a player worth the 4th pick given the other players that were available. I thought he was a big stretch for a player of his size and skills. He has had run-ins with fellow teammates (Tristan Thompson) and watching him play... he does have that "ball hog" mentality. His hasn't progressed as much as I wanted him to this season. There are rumours already spreading around that the Cavaliers are looking to trade him...
#1 - Anthony Bennett. This was the biggest head scratcher. I have never been a fan of Bennett's game at all. I always questioned his size/athleticism translating to the NBA game. I just wouldn't use my #1 pick on a tweener. Does he play the PF or the SF? Is he fast enough to be a SF? Is he strong enough to play the PF position? Does he have the appropriate size to be a PF? A lot of questions surronding him as a player and I just didn't see why the Cavs would choose him. I thought they were going to get Oladipo, Porter or Alex Len. His early NBA struggles have indicated this so far. I hope he does get better in the NBA.
A lot of uncertainity does surrond the Cavaliers because even though they are stockpiled on talent it looks as if they are headed for another lottery selection. Does this mean that Irving will be fed up and want to leave Cleveland because of their draft blunders and questionable coaching?
If you were the Cavaliers what you do?
I am a Cavaliers fan and I am extremely dissapointed with the way they've played.
I thought Tristan Thompson was a reach when he was drafted, but actually he has turned out to be a very good player.
You can question the picks all you want, and they haven't been perfect, but the Cavaliers roster right now half as bad as how they've been playing. They've kept last year's roster but added very good players in J. Jack, A. Bynum, E. Clark and now they're playing almost worse than they did last year.
Kyrie has been terrible this year for some reason, I'm surprised nobody is really talking about that. He's inefficient and passive.
Is this really Mike Brown's fault? The Cavaliers' line ups have been bizzare, he's stared Dellavedova and Karasev, he often plays three guard line ups for no reason (had Dion Waiters guard LeBron against Miami).
I was thinking the same. I was very high on them beginning the season but concerned about their defense. That the offense alone doesn't win them games concerns me. Basically I like Mike Brown but the roster isn't made for his defensive minded game.
The more I think about it, the more I think the chemistry must be really bad. Kyrie is playing hero ball way to muh or disapears from time to time. This whole Waiters players only meeting thing seems to only be the top of all that. They need to make decisions soon there, try to move Waiters and/or others to get this thing around and sneak into the playoffs or give it up for this year and continue rebuilding. I think they are serious about this years goals and will try to remodel the roster.
Will be interesting to see what they can get for Waiters!
Everyone from the players,the coach,the gm and the owner are to BLAME for this MESS!!
I thought the Cavs were going to be a playoff team this year. I agree they could have made some different picks and I was okay with Thompson at 4, but wasn't a huge fan of Waiters or Bennett to start with. I see a lot of potential in both Waiters and Bennett though so we will just have to wait and see. It's easy to look and say we could have Irving, Oladipo, Barnes, Thompson as our young core, but there isn't any point on dwelling on what could have been. Irving isn't playing how much of us expected him too and it appears that Mike Brown would be the biggest cause of that? They needed to get better defensively and it just hasn't happened yet. I didn't expect them to be 4-12 to start the season, but there is a long ways to go so hopefully they can pull it together. If they don't it isn't the end of the world because if there is a draft you want a higher pick in then this one is it.
Honestly I think it's Mike Brown. In his LeBron Cleveland days he didn't have to make an offense because LeBron was/is one of the best players and facilitators of all time. That always showed in the playoffs when better teams could plan defense around LeBron. Now he has Kyrie whom everyone assumed could make the offense work but watching them play you can tell they don't have an offensive gameplan. Varejao is hitting 16 footers with ease, Dion and Karasev can hit threes, and Kyrie is Kyrie, but they haven't been able to make what looks like an offense with solid pieces work. Plus the defense is putrid. I think it's coaching. Maybe George Karl needs a call.
Mike Brown, Chris Grant, Dan Gilbert, nuff said.
Mike Brown, what a fake, not only utterly incompetent but all the years he is able to provide us with ugly, unwatchable ball. He was rescued all the years having Lebron, but how in the world do you go a second time with Charlie Brown.
Poor drafting. Hindsight is 20/20, but we basically knew all those picks were questionable the 2nd they made them.
In contrast, the Warriors hav built a semi contender on draft picks in the 5-10 range, non max FA signings, and trades.
By taking Kyrie first overall, they bought themselves a top 10 level NBA guard and a Legitimate Cornerstone. However, by taking Tristan Thompson over Valaciunas, they ignored one of the primary draft tenents; when faced with two relatively equal talents, TAKE THE SEVEN FOOT NATURAL SHOT BLOCKER WITH GOOD HANDS. In 2012, taking Dion Waiters over Harrison Barnes, Terrance Ross, Andre Drummond or even Damian Lillard was, even at the time, a little insane. Regardless of Waiters shot creating ability the red flags that were apparent in college have been even more apparent in the pros. Barnes and Lillard were professional, solid competitors, while Drummond and Ross both represented a higher potential with a similar floor. 2013 was a total headscratcher... Taking a player in Bennett with no defined position, who would step onto the roster as a backup? Especially when Oladipo or McLemore would have been much better natural fits with Irving and the rest of the Roster....
I think this is just a case of bad drafting.
I still believe they will be a playoff team this year. Everyone thinks a move has to be made but I disagree. It would take a player a while to be good in Mike Brown' s defense and getting guys mid season without a camp rarely meshes well.
Time will tell but I think they won't shake things up to much and if a player is moved it won't be Waiters. It will likely be Alonzo Gee, Earl Clark (neither has guaranteed salary for next year) or both. After all, a spot at small forward needs to be opened, assuming that’s what they would want in return. I think a 3 and picks are most likely to be used rather than a young piece. They don't have usable cap room in a trade other than to dump Bynum (doing so in January would free up 6 million), who looked like an all-star tonight against the Bulls(20 point double double). If a deal happens it would likely be a 3 team trade allowing the Cavs to send both wings out so they could have that 9 million dollars that Gee (3), Clark (4.5) and potentially Zeller (1.7) to swapped for a starter at the 3.
Waiters and Varejao are the popular names to leave in trades but the Cavs management values both more than any other team. Plus losing either doesn't make the teams present or future drastically better. Since Waiters missed his mystery illness games he has been the Cavs best player(especially last two games, tonight 8-10 for 20 points). He will be fine and a 8 win 6 lose December will be enough of a trend to make everybody happier.
Its guys on here saying only if they drafted Klay Thompson or Vucevic. Are you clowns serious? Nobody had those guys going were they went. Besides Waiters has been more productive in the NBA than Ross, by far. So has TT (career 1620 points, 1310 rebounds) over Jo Val (career 684 points, 484 rebounds). TT has a year of experience because Jo Val missed one, but that actually helps support the point. TT has better numbers this year also and is not injury prone. Plus had a agent with excellent rapport with management in Rich Paul while Jo Val had the antithesis in Leon Rose.
Let's all remember Mike Brown made offense look bad on a team with Lebron James on it. Then he accomplished the feat with Kobe Bryant, Gasol and Dwight Howard. His ability in that department is unparalleled.
Despite some draft picks he could have done better on or got more value in, the one thing Grant has never done even once was trade a player with actual value. He trades only garbage players, sometimes for more garbage and picks but he never gives up anything of value, ever. I wonder if Waiters, a Philly native (or next year top 5 protected) and the No. 1 pick could have gotten Jrue Holiday. That’s what it took from the Hornets. Maybe the same conference thing could have played a role in it but I think Philly could have bit. He could have traded back to 7 if possible and still got Drummond, Waiters or Barnes, one had to still be there.
I dont think its fair to compare Waiters and Ross production because Ross plays with Rudy G., Derozen, and Fields gets some of his minutes too. With the minutes Ross gets, he produces. Not much of a defender but neither is Waiters.
I do agree about Mike Brown though. I never liked his offense. No creativity whatsoever.
haYes, Waiters over Barnes and Drummond was extremely stupid.
the cavs have made some pretty bad choices. there's no way that waiters or Bennett will ever be as good as guys that they could have gotten instead.
"Did the Cleveland Cavaliers Position Themselves To Fail?"
Absolutely not! Haven't you seen that roster? With the kind of players we have, we can easily make a deep run at the playoffs. We have a young superstar in Kyrie Irving and a top 5 center in Andrew Bynum. Those two players alone will get us into the playoffs. Add key role players like Anderson Varejao, who was playing like an all star before his season ending injury a year ago, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark.
Just because Grant decided to pick players who where low on mock drafts doesn't mean they where bad picks. I have ZERO doubt in my mind that Tristan Thompson was the right pick in 2011. Valanciunas is just an average big man. We didn't pass on a superstar or anything like that. Dion Waiters was also a great pick. He is currently playing like the third best player in that draft. The two others are Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard. Davis went first overall and Lillard is pretty much another Kyrie Irving.
Now, I will admit, I was in schock when I heard the name Anthony Bennett being called. But I did say before we even drafted him that he had a chance to be an allstar thanks to his combination of size and speed. He is part of our future plans and will be a great role player in this league (ala: Boris Diaw?). The ONLY player we might ever regret passing on is NOT Nerlens Noel, Victor Oladipo, Harrison Barnes or even Andre Drummond. That player is Cody Zeller. He's going to be a beast in this league. But if we're able to trade for a star power forward to pair with Kyrie and Bynum, I can careless.
We're going to make the playoffs this year and I have no doubt in my mind about it.
Irving was the logical pick as top pick in 2011, I think everyone agrees with that. Tristan Thompson was a bit of a reach in 2011 but with issues regarding Valanciunas coming over that summer, I was prepared to accept that pick plus they saw Varejao as their long term C. Thompson has been a solid NBA player so far and as regards him an Valanciunas at the moment I'm fairly neutral.
In 2012 the Cavs certainly reached for Dion Waiters, ideally they wanted MKG or Brad Beal but would not give up enough to move up in the draft. But they could have easily taken Harrison Barnes to fill the SF hole since LBJ skipped down or even Andre Drummond considering they drafted another big in Cody Zeller at 17 that year.
Again Waiters has been a solid contributer and maybe ahead of where we thought he would be but there have been some personality issues and the Cavs are rumoured to want to move him.
This year the Cavs landed the number 1 pick and I cannot honestly remember seeing anyone tip them to draft Anthony Bennett, they were not prepared to gamble on Nerlens Noel who has yet to return and Oladipo did not fit in as they had Waiters.
Personally I would have drafted Barnes and Oladipo instead of Waiters and Bennett.
A line up of:-
Irving, Oladipo, Barnes, Thompson and Bynum would look fairly nice to me.
The Cavs do need time to settle this year and with Bynum gradually finding his old form and Irving getting back up to speed they could have a better season than we currently think.
Luckily Chris Grant has accumulated a few future picks and has Varejao's and Gee's team options for 2014-15 so they could have some nice pieces to make a trade if they do want to move on of the younger guys.