The Cleveland Cavaliers are in danger of falling out of the top four in the Eastern Conference after their most recent loss at home to the Golden State Warriors. The loss drops the Cavs to 26-17 on the season, just one game ahead of the fourth-place Heat and 1.5 games up on the fifth-place Wizards.
Cleveland had lost four in a row and eight of its last 10 games to slide well behind Boston and Toronto at the top of the East, and this has led to some building frustration in the locker room. We’ve heard recent reports of growing discontent from LeBron James’ teammates about how the star has slowed ball movement to a near halt, and James himself has let his frustrations out in the form of sniping back at a reporter who asked a pretty standard question about Cleveland’s poor defensive effort recently.
After the 118-108 loss to the Warriors, Cleveland fell to 1-6 on the season against the top five teams in the league, with the lone win being on opening night over the Celtics. There is concern that this is far more than just the typical midseason slump we’ve grown accustomed to from the Cavs since LeBron’s return, and players are apparently not pleased with the way the front office is apparently trying to hold onto their prized Brooklyn Nets first round pick for 2018.
The Nets pick was acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade and, privately, is considered the prize asset from that deal by many in Cleveland’s front office. That pick could potentially be used to acquire another star, but to this point the Cavs have not been willing to include it in talks which has frustrated some of the Cavs’ players.