Here is the Cavs $84 million dilemma
The Cleveland Cavaliers began the week in turmoil, unlike any abyss since its consecutive three year NBA Finals run and among the hot button topics was the fate of its head coach Tyron Lue, but the real answer can be found in the combined $84 million contracts to holdovers Tristan Thompson and JR Smith.
Since 2013, Thompson numbers have dipped considerably in points from 11 down to 5 and in rebounds from a high of nearly 10 at 9.4 to a paltry 5, almost coinciding with the time he’s been dating you know who.
Mildly put he has been a total bust in both the post season and the regular season and the level of production the Cavs are receiving from him does not merit the hefty contract he signed.
Smith on the other hand was resigned primarily because of his marksmanship from downtown, but his percentage has decreased from a high of 40 percent to 34, although his overall shooting percentage has climbed to 44 percent. Close to 8 points per game for a player making his bread is not worth the investment.
The worst part about both Thompson and Smith is that they are not trending to get better, in fact quite the contrary.
Lest I not forget the $18 million the Cavs dumped on Kyle Korver after he all but disappeared in the Finals last year. He has marginally improved defensively, but have you seen this team play defense lately? Saying that Korver has been one of your better defensive players does not say much about your defensive acumen.
Mind you defense is about two things effort and energy, something lacking during this dive of 3-7 in its last 10 games.
This is a group that the Cavs front office handed to Lue and then told him to make it work. It cant work and it will not work. Not with Lue, Phil Jackson, Pop or any other elite NBA coach. This is a bad bunch of oddly talented players, and short of a trade that does two things (1- improve the team for this year and (2, improve you team for the future without or without LeBron James the Cavs will quickly become an after thought not just in the Eastern Conference, but the NBA.
Difficult challenges bring about very hard and unpopular decisions, and it’s time for the Cavs to man up and make some.
It will be either good luck or good riddance or perhaps both…