If you think your favorite NBA team is in bad shape, just take solace in knowing that it could always be worse. You could be a Cleveland Cavaliers fan. If your allegiance is to the Cavaliers… sorry.
In late June, LeBron James opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers only to announce his decision to sign a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers a few days later. According to The Athletic‘s Joe Varden, Kyle Korver responded to LeBron’s departure by demanding a trade. The Cavaliers have yet to meet his demands. Later that month, Kevin Love came to terms on a four-year, $120 million contract extension with the Cavs. Love would go on to play in only four games before undergoing surgery on his foot, which will keep in sidelined for, at least, six weeks.
There’s also the J.R. Smith trade demand, and the firing of head coach Tyronn Lue just six games into the 2018-19 campaign, but you get the picture, this team is in turmoil. If there was any silver lining to this whole mess, it was that drafting point guard Collin Sexton with the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft would be a good start to the next chapter for the Cavaliers’ organization. That may not be the case.
Vardon reports that veterans within the Cavaliers organization believe Sexton doesn’t know how to play. To make matters worse, it seems like the combination of youth and attitude appear to be impacting the way the rookie rubs off on his teammates.
At one point during Saturday’s game, veteran starting point guard George Hill told Sexton he’d teach him how to play defense. Only, there is little confidence in the locker room that Sexton will listen to him. Remember when I wrote during the preseason that the Cavs’ players loved Sexton? Well, that was true then. And they don’t think he’s a bad guy now. They know he’s 19 and he only played one year of college ball. They still think he’s a nice kid. But they see his deficiencies, they know he’s going to be on the court, and they’re discouraged when after these losses, he doesn’t seem bothered by them.