On the court, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been prone to injury and lots of losing. Off it, though, they are in great shape.
At least, the second part is something team owner Dan Gilbert seems to firmly believe.
“Our future plans are, as they’ve always been, commit to keep building the franchise into a perennial team that competes for a championship,” Gilbert said during a call with season-ticket holders, via Chris Fedor of C.
“I have no doubt that if we continue the path here that we will be competing in a shorter period of time than people think. As you build this thing for the long term, I think you are going to see something emerge here in the next couple of years that will be a core and base.
“So take the next two, three years, including this year, and create a core, system and organization that will sustain itself in a competitive nature for maybe six, seven, eight, nine years or whatever from that point. I believe in the mission and the plan. Think we have the right people to lead it.”
The Cavs are currently minus all five starters from last season’s Finals team — LeBron James (free agency), Kevin Love (toe/foot surgery), J.R. Smith (away from team), George Hill (traded) and Tristan Thompson (sprained ankle).
They also fired coach Tyronn Lue just a couple weeks into this season.
Following the season before last, general manager Koby Altman traded away Kyrie Irving (at Irving’s request). Few teams could survive repeated losses like that and put together anything beyond a serious run at the top draft pick.
That’s where the Cavs stand today. Still, Gilbert ensured those who dialed in to his call that the pain won’t last forever.
“I know there’s been a lot of change and sometimes people don’t like change,” Gilbert said. “But you have to move fast and make changes in this world to get ahead.
“I think the front office is in the best shape it’s ever been. At least, in the 12 or 13 years I’ve been in Cleveland. You have people who are very, very smart, very dedicated. Understand metrics, understand the game, understand drafting, understand trades.”