The Cavs are 6-6.
Think about that for a second. The Cavs are 6-6 and currently sit at seventh place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. That’s exciting news, right?
Wrong! So very, very wrong.
While I’ll admit, seeing the Cavs playing well, competing and stirring things up in the East is exciting. It would be even more exciting if this wasn’t year one of the rebuilding of the Cavaliers (No, last year doesn’t count as rebuilding. Last year was therapy and losing brought together in order to begin the rebuild). The Cavs aren’t supposed to be good this year. In fact, being good is probably the worst thing that could happen to them at this stage of the game.
Yes, it’s important to form a winning culture, especially with young players. Winning breeds more winning and the last thing you want to do is form bad habits and a loser’s mentality. There’s no denying that fact. Learning how to win now will only help this team further along down the road. Once those bad habits that come with losing are formed and cemented in place there’s no fixing it.
The Washington Wizards are quickly turning into the perfect “what not to do when rebuilding a team” team. Yes, they have a lot of young athletic talent. They had the first pick in the draft and took John Wall, a dynamic, potentially once in a generation talent at point guard. They even fixed their dreadful uniform situation by going back to their roots with a Washington Bullets-esque color scheme and uniforms. The only problem…
They’re a bunch of knuckleheads.
The issues surrounding the Wizards are most easily compared to the issues surrounding an eastern european orphanage circa 1850 or those contained within the skull of DeMarcus Cousins. Yeah, there’s a whole lot of crazy going on here and all it’s done is create one of worst and most selfish losing environments in recent NBA memory. There’s talk that John Wall might already be ruined. That’s what the Cavs need to avoid.
The Cavs really need one more high lottery pick in order to cement their future as a potential top tier NBA franchise. It appears that the Cavs are following the model set forth by the Oklahoma City Thunder. A young team built around numerous high lottery draft picks (Durant, Westbrook, Harden) and diamonds in the rough (Serge Ibaka, Eric Maynor). So far so good with the drafting of Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson. Both of them look to be solid building blocks for the future, especial Irving. So far in 12 games he leads all rookies in scoring and is every bit as good as advertised. Right now he’s the odds on rookie of the year.
Unfortunately, the Cavs aren’t going to win an NBA championship on the shoulders of Kyrie Irving alone. They still need a wing player who can serve as primary scorer to Irving’s primary facilitator. They could also use som serious help down low. Aside from Anderson Varejao, the Cavs are lacking in talented depth at Center and it’s unlikely he makes it to the end of the year with the Cavs. Likewise, Antawn Jamison is another piece that should be moved in order to acquire draft picks. He’s not doing the Cavs any good moving forward (yes, his veteran leadship is valuable to an extent) and all he’s doing is shooting the Cavs into too many wins.
Dont get me wrong people, this is by no means a call for the Cavs to tank the season away in an attempt to land a second #1 pick. All I’m saying is that landing the 7 or 8 seed and a draft pick in the upper teens does them no good moving forward, especially considering the talent projected to be in the draft this upcoming year. If for some reason they should make the playoffs… then game on. I’ll have their back. Just be sure to know that by doing so they may be jeopardizing their future moving forward. That’s ultimately what did in the Cavs with LeBron. They got too good too soon and weren’t able to draft him a running mate (if no one was willing to come to Cleveland to play with LeBron, they aren’t coming to play with Kyrie. Sorry, it’s the truth).
In the end, I fully expect the Cavs to begin making move to better position themselves for the future. As I said, Varejao probably won’t last to the end of the year. Antawn Jamison will probably be valued by a contendor as a scorer coming off the bench provided he stays healthy. Ramon Sessions is already receiving a large amount of buzz in the trade winds. Teams value him as an all around player for his scoring, distributing, and rebounding. In a deal with the right team, he could bring back a decent return.
Ryan Hollins… well… maybe BW3’s can give the Cavs some wings or potato wedges or something.