A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Era to era: A cause of the Cavaliers struggle to win

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The Cleveland Cavaliers season has not gone as expected. In Kyrie Irving’s 3rd season they expected to make the playoffs, but are 5 Gs out in a poor Eastern conference despite trades for Luol Deng and Spencer Hawes and signings of Jarrett Jack, Earl Clark and Andrew Bynum this summer.

Although the Cavaliers free agency and draft picks have been more miss than hit so far, there is a major reason why they’re struggling so much to get going. The NBA is a league where one era often has a major effect on the next. The Cavaliers are still suffering from the poor way they built their team in the Lebron James era.

The Cavs under Lebron did a poor job surrounding him with young players or draft picks. Look at how the Thunder have continuously drafted young players and stockpiled picks around Kevin Durant. The Cavaliers chose to go with older veterans and free agents.

Because of this, when Lebron left they had nothing. They were essentially an expansion team. Instead of having young players and a core to give them a head start. When the Philadelphia 76ers began rebuilding this year, they already had Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams, along with other value pieces like Thad Young, Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner who could be dealt for value. Because of this when they begin drafting high in the 2014 draft, it will be to a team years ahead in asset building than the Cavs were when they got Irving. If the Cavaliers had already stockpiled young players and assets around Lebron, it’d have taken them less time to build a successful core than it has. Beginning from rock bottom is not an ideal place to be. Even when a team wants to start over, having assets and infrastructure from the era before is essential. The Cavs may have left themselves a year or two more to come back from because of the poor team building in the James era. This year or two is massive because the wait has caused poor chemistry, leadership development from Irving and cost Chris Grant his job. It’s also caused the Cavs to become a team who does things like panic by giving up draft picks for expiring contracts just to make the playoffs, this bleeding of assets will hurt them in the long term.

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Written by jr.

February 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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