Dribbles: Cavaliers’ total collapse calls for gutting of roster

Rookie point guard Collin Sexton and the Cavaliers have lost nine in a row.

Random dribbles following the Cavaliers’ 133-98 basketball massacre of a home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

1. The poor Cavs. The poor, poor Cavs.

2. That’s really all I have to say, because I have no intention of writing about the actual game. Partially because I could no longer bear to watch after the start of the third quarter. Mostly because it’s undoubtedly best to just forget it.

3. All I really know is general manager Koby Altman will really need to get to work before the Feb. 7 trade deadline. The man has his work cut out for him.

4. Question is, do you see anyone here that anyone else would want right now? OK, maybe center Tristan Thompson, but he still has that large contract.

5. That’s not a shot at Thompson. Unlike last season, I think the Cavs should keep him — unless they can get a really nice haul in return. I also think Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson could make nice reserves moving forward.

6. Other than that, I’m not so sure.

7. Let’s put it this way: There is no one on the roster that has me thinking, “Under no circumstance should that player be traded.” That includes rookie point guard Collin Sexton and second-year man Cedi Osman.

8. Translation: If I’m Altman, I would accept every trade call on everyone, and make a bunch of calls of my own.

9. Educated guess: That’s precisely what Altman is doing.

10. Another guess: It is open season on the Cavs’ roster after nine straight losses. That includes five in a row AT HOME by at least 20 points.

11. It’s safe to say the wheels have come off, even for a rebuilding season.

12. I have not heard of any opposing interest in Sexton. I have heard the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in Osman and Rodney Hood. I have heard the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics also have interest in Hood. I have heard a lot of things — but again, what the Cavs could actually get back for their players in a trade, I have no idea.

13. The Cavs have until Monday to decide what to do with newcomer Patrick McCaw. I can’t imagine they’ll give up on him. But they did give themselves an out when they signed him. After Jan. 7, his two-year contract worth $6 million becomes guaranteed.

14. I asked an opposing GM what he would do if he were in charge of the Cavs. He said he would start making it known that “everyone is available.” He added, “I would call every team at least once with that message.” (Or he would just save time by asking ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski to tweet it.)

15. I have stood firmly behind interim coach Larry Drew because the Cavs had at least been playing hard. I still think Drew deserves a real shot at the job after the season.

16. It seems to me that some of the players have just hit a wall. All the losing is wearing on the younger players. Some of the veterans are playing with one eye on the door. I don’t blame Drew for any of it.

17. This is truly a season of auditioning, and if I’m the Cavs’ casting director, right now I’m saying, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

18. And to think Kevin Love is supposed to return from foot surgery later this month. I often wonder how that’s going to go. Perhaps the Cavs can convince him to get back on the court with the promise they will at least look to trade him to a contender. Those potential deals, I assure you, will be out there.

19. But opposing teams want to make sure that Love is healthy first.

20. If the Cavs (8-32) were still at least showing some real fight and giving themselves the occasional chance to win, I would say keeping Love is definitely worth considering. Now, I’m not so sure.

21. Hate to be the voice of doom, but think about this: The Cavs start a six-game road swing Wednesday against the same Pelicans team that just beat them by 35 in Cleveland. The trip also includes a visit to the Los Angeles Lakers a week from Sunday.

22. Good night, and good luck.

10 Comments on "Dribbles: Cavaliers’ total collapse calls for gutting of roster"

  1. Id be looking to keep TT, Nance Jr, Cedi, Sexton, JC and MCCaw for the rest of the season at a minimum. Move the likes of Love, Hood, Burks, JR to contenders for young assets and/ or draft picks etc. And Altman should be looking to take on some bad contracts for good draft picks as well IMO. Cavs need to stock up on draft picks for the coming few seasons as Boston have done over the last few seasons. Just my take.

  2. Sam I would take a total different approach. I would not let Altman make another move. I would REPLACE HIM and let this sorry roster he assembled play itself out. He has been a DISASTER since taking over. Gilbert is certainly the biggest one to blame her but he’s not going anywhere.

  3. I’d like the Cavs to keep TT, Nance, Nwaba, Clarkson, and maybe Sexton this/next season, and Love for the rest of this season only. I don’t think they will trade Cedi, since he seems to be a fan favorite ( the Q was full of Cedi jerseys when I went on Friday.) I have huge respect for Love and was happy that he wanted to commit here long-term, but this season has made it painfully clear that you can’t build around a player who is guaranteed to miss –at minimum- several weeks of games every season. On another note- while the team was obviously very different– this recent collapse does remind me a bit of last season’s horrendous stretch of blow-outs during the Isaiah Thomas era: no energy, poor communication, bad body language, selfish offense. Makes me wonder if some of these players just don’t like each other and don’t want to play together.

  4. Sam if you would check Chris Paul rookie year you would see that Sexton is Doing better Overall.than Chris and also this year better than Rozier of the Celtics

    • Thanks but after a decade of watching basketball as a full-time job I don’t look at stats. The eye test is what works for me. Also, Monta Ellis was better statistically than Chris Paul. That said, it’s probably too soon to give up on Sexton unless you can get something nice in return.

  5. Sam, this is why I couldnt understand why in the off season you were saying the cavs should try to contend. they have mostly trash on the team and need to rebuild.

    • They were a veteran team coming off four straight Finals appearances in the offseason. That fell apart as the veterans failed to stay healthy or failed to care. I believe every team should contend to keep the fans from constantly whining, not buying tickets and not buying merchandise, and the franchise losing gobs of money. The team they are trotting out there today is hardly the roster they had in the offseason. I would think anyone who follows the team would already know that.

  6. Good to see you, Sam. I also thought the Cavs would be much better than this. Not great, but at least competent and professional. But now it is clear: the Cavs must pray for the #1 pick in the lottery, pray for ZION to come and replace the King in the Land. Only Zion can save this mess: he is explosive with electrifying star power.

    Anyway, keep Cedi and Nance, Jr. Maybe Clarkson. Otherwise, dump every one you can with an eye towards the future. Amazing that they are paying JR Smith to stay home and hit the bong.

  7. I disagree but I still love your site.

    • Well you are allowed to disagree! 🙂 That’s what makes sports fun and agree or disagree, I am always grateful for people checking out the site and taking the time to comment. So thank you!

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