There’s dysfunction that can be fixed, and there’s dysfunction that is irreparable.
The Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be suffering from the latter, not the former.
“I think it’s worse than what’s being reported,” former Nets GM and current ESPN NBA Front Office insider Bobby Marks said on Tiki and Tierney. “I really do. I think we’ve only scratched the surface – unless they start winning some games. This is not like the last two or three years where we’d say, ‘It’s regular season.’ There’s no Kyrie Irving there.”
Indeed, Irving is in Boston (35-14), where he’s averaging 24.5 points and 5.0 assists for the East-leading Celtics. The Cavs (27-19) trail Boston by 6.5 games in the East and are just 3.0 games ahead of eighth-seeded Milwaukee (24-22).
That’s what dropping 11 of 15 will do to you.
“This roster has gotten older,” Marks said of Cleveland, “and I would not do anything with that Brooklyn pick unless I’m getting a young player that’s on a rookie contract or I’m getting a Paul George-type player there – even with the risk of George being a free agent. I am not doing anything with that Brooklyn pick because that’s your insurance if LeBron leaves.”
The Cavs own Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick. Brooklyn (18-30) has the third-worst record in the East.
“Koby Altman, I’m a big fan of him,” Marks said of Cleveland’s rookie general manager, “but this is not an easy situation for him at all. You’ve got the LeBron factor hanging over (the franchise), and until there’s a decision for his future, it’s going to continue to hang (over the franchise). I know they’re active, but look at the roster.”
J.R. Smith is averaging a career-low 7.4 points, while Jae Crowder is averaging 8.7 points – this after averaging at least 13.9 in each of the last two seasons.
“J.R. Smith’s got no value,” Marks said. “He shouldn’t even be starting right now. If Tristan Thompson had one year or two years left on his contract, I think DeAndre Jordan would be in play, but the Clippers have no interest in that contract.”
The rest of the Cavs’ roster is uninspiring, to say the least.
“(Iman) Shumpert, Channing Frye, Kyle Korver,” Marks said before trailing off. “There’s not much value there at all.”