What else could go wrong for the Cleveland Cavaliers?
2013 No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Bennett has been a big bust. Head coach Mike Brown has lost control of his team. The Andrew Bynum signing was a disaster. Luol Deng is looking like a short-term rental. Dion Waiters is causing dissension in the Cavs’ locker room, as Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal has reported. Even Kyrie Irving is unhappy in Cleveland, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford.
I didn’t even mention the Cavs’ 119-108 loss to an eight-man Los Angeles Lakers roster on Feb. 5.
Without Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash, the Lakers ran out of players and still managed to beat the Cavs.
Cavs general manager Chris Grant is out and Brown is on the hot seat.
It’s safe to say that the rebuilding effort since LeBron James left has been close to a total failure.
But despite all of the Cavaliers’ shortcomings, they have not yet reached rock bottom.
The rest of the season will likely be filled with more depressing losses, a continuing lack of effort and thoughts of the 2014 NBA Draft.
There is no easy fix for the Cavs. Nothing less than a total rebuild will end their woes.
If I were Cavs interim general manager David Griffin, here are the steps I would take to rebuild this team.
1. Fire Mike Brown – First of all, Brown has to go at the end of the season. He’s a great guy, but not the right coach for the Cavaliers. Brown has lost control of this team. Team sources talked about a lack of accountability and Brown has repeatedly complained about a lack of effort, as Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto has pointed out.
There’s a reason the Lakers fired him just five games into the 2012-13 season. He can’t control a locker room.
2. Done with Dion – Waiters has to be traded. The second-year shooting guard is doing more harm than good.
Waiters is averaging 14.2 points per game, but he’s been tossed out of practice, failed to get along with Kyrie and refused to take responsibility for his actions. The Cavs should swap him for draft picks.
3. So long, Luol – I credit Grant for acquiring Deng, but the veteran small forward needs to be traded. There’s no way he will re-sign with Cleveland at the end of the season, as CBSSports.com has reported. The Cavs might as well get something in return for him.
4. Build through the draft – The best way to build is through the draft. The Cavs have some pieces in place from previous drafts. Kyrie is, at worst, an above average point guard. Tristan Thompson is a great rebounder. Bennett might even figure it out with proper coaching.
The 2014 NBA Draft is loaded with stud prospects. As Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated affirmed, this is one of the best draft classes in years. The Cavs can put a solid foundation in place if they load up on draft picks this year.
So brace yourselves, Cavs fans, rock bottom is still coming. But at least the Cavs will get a good draft pick.