When LeBron James left the team in the recent free agency, Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman made it clear that they have no intention to undergo a full-scale rebuild. Their decision to give Kevin Love a massive contract extension showed that the Cavaliers are still aiming to defend their title as the Eastern Conference champions in the 2018-19 NBA season.
Unfortunately, as of now, the Cavaliers don’t look like the NBA team who represented the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals over the last four seasons. After a 0-6 start, the Cavaliers decided to fire Tyronn Lue as head coach, making some people wonder what direction the Cavaliers are now planning to take.
In an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump, Brian Windhorst discussed the current situation of the Cavaliers. Windhorst believes that the Cavaliers should immediately make a decision as to whether they still want to compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference — or whether they might be better served by undergoing a full-scale rebuild.
Before the Cavaliers officially parted ways with Tyronn Lue, general manager Koby Altman reportedly had a disagreement with the 41-year-old mentor regarding the team’s rotation. Altman — and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert — wanted Lue to prioritize the development of their young players and to shut down some of their old guys, but Lue still insisted on playing their veterans.
If the Cavaliers decide to push through with their plan to focus on their young players, Windhorst believes that it’s time for Cleveland to move their “old guys” out of the team.
“Who is going to play?” Windhorst asked, via Sam Amico of Amico Hoops. “And if they are going to play the young guys, maybe it’s time to start moving the old guys out of there. Because you’re going to have a problem for that new coach, and for the young players, if the old guys who were already told they were going to be a part of this aren’t going to play.”
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) October 29, 2018
If the Cavaliers decide to take a different route, some of the veterans that could be traded include Tristan Thompson, Kyle Korver, George Hill, and J.R. Smith. Trading those players for expiring contracts and draft picks will allow the Cavaliers to create salary cap space, and perhaps add young and promising talents to their roster. Also, it will give young players like Collin Sexton, Ante Zizic, Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, and Cedi Osman more opportunity to improve their game.
The Cavaliers may also consider moving Kevin Love if they receive a very attractive offer. As of now, the Cavaliers are busy negotiating with Larry Drew, who is expected to serve as their interim head coach after having dismissed Tyronn Lue. Before accepting the job, Drew reportedly wants a security from the Cavaliers that he will be the permanent replacement for Lue.