Each new day adds yet another layer to the ongoing saga in Cleveland. Reports of a volatile players-only meeting – in which Kevin Love was somewhat inexplicably targeted as a scapegoat – have only served to undermine an already-flimsy locker-room morale, and the ensuing trade speculation has both the team and its fanbase wondering who’ll even still be on the roster after the February deadline.
The Cavs have lost 10 out of their last 14 games, and though some experts still point to them as the favorites to come out of the East, their collective future has been rendered increasingly uncertain amid all the recent turmoil.
Looming large over all of this is LeBron James‘ pending free agency, of which a negative outcome could easily plunge the franchise back into obscurity for years to come. It certainly doesn’t help that, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, LeBron is still harboring some lingering resentment about the organization’s failure to land either Paul George or Eric Bledsoe last summer.
Here’s what Windhorst had to say on the Lowe Post Podcast:
“What’s really pissing LeBron off is that he felt like the Cavs could have gotten Paul George and Eric Bledsoe, and they didn’t get them. I’m just telling you, LeBron is there, and he’s like, we could have had Eric Bledsoe and Paul George. Instead, we have a draft pick who I’m never going to meet. Well, I don’t know about that, but I’m not meeting him this year. And we have Isaiah Thomas, who is very clearly hampered, and we have Jae Crowder, who is having the worst year of his career. And whether or not having Paul George and Eric Bledsoe would have made that much of a difference when it really matters, I don’t know. But I know that’s what LeBron thinks about because he knows that was on the table that they couldn’t execute back in June.”
If that’s the case, it’s fairly damning indictment of the Cavs’ front office, as well as their prospects for keeping LeBron around past this season.
Other reports have indicated that the Cavs are in the process of put together multiple moves in anticipation of the February trade deadline, but it remains to be seen whether that will have any bearing on their championship aspirations this season. Either way, it will certainly affect the organization’s outlook going forward.