The Cleveland Cavaliers are a bad basketball team. They were always a bad basketball team, even with LeBron James still in a Cavaliers uniform. This year LeBron is in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform, and Cleveland is the worst team in the Eastern Conference.
This is not complicated.
Even still, an NBA team is made up of real human beings, most of whom don’t want to feel like they are wasting a year of their professional life on a team going nowhere. As such, tanking is wildly unpopular for the players on a bad basketball team, and any actual tanking is largely due to a roster being terrible and not for individual lack of effort.
On Wednesday, the Cavaliers front office made their team worse. Cleveland traded Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Alec Burks and two second-round picks. The trade allowed for Cleveland to get some potential in their future, and for Korver to get away from the dysfunction in northeastern Ohio.
Still, some Cavaliers are reportedly upset about the trade. According to The Athletic’s Joe Vardon, Cleveland players see the trade of Korver as explicit move to make the team worse in preparation for the upcoming draft and beyond.
Via The Athletic:
Multiple Cavs players are upset with the trading of Korver, insofar as this is a team with very little outside shooting. Korver’s only averaging 6.8 points per game, but he’s still shooting .463 from the outside and is one of the greatest 3-point shooters in NBA history. Subtracting him from the team only makes it harder to win games, they feel.
Then again, they know what this season has become for the Cavs. It’s not about wins.
I’m not sure how much keeping Korver on the Cavaliers team would really help them. They’ve only won four games this season, and if it wasn’t for the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland would have the worst record in the NBA.
Korver is back in Utah now, and Cleveland will be prepping for the draft much as they’ve done in years where LeBron was not on their roster.