Six games into the NBA season and we’re already at “Tank SZN” for the 2018-2019 Cleveland Cavaliers. Cavalier fans were excited for the unknown aspect of the season and some even thought they’d scrap into the playoffs.
Boy, were they wrong.
With the recent firing of head coach Ty Lue and the news of Kevin Love’s extended absence from the team, it looks as if the Cavaliers are already mailing in the season with their eyes set on the future.
But what does the future hold for the team?
Tanking has never been that apparent with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even when LeBron was gone, you always had the feeling that the talent just wasn’t there and that they were trying every night. Cleveland improved their win total each season after the departure of James and with the first pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Cavs were in the position to possibly crack a playoff spot in the years coming with the pairing of Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins.
Starting the season with zero wins and six losses, Cleveland remains the only team in the association with zero wins. Kevin Love extended his contract this past summer and now it seems as if the Cavaliers should have dumped him for picks due to the fragility of his body. The organization as a whole is in complete disarray and the future of the Cavs seems bleak.
The biggest question of this whole process is what does tanking mean for the team as a whole?
Cleveland has 14 players on the payroll this season, fast forward to next season and you see the total drop to 12 and then fast forward to the next season and you’re down to four players. Cleveland will have a lot of turnover with their roster in the coming seasons and the only players with stability in Cleveland are Love, Larry Nance Jr. and Collin Sexton.
With tanking, you can more than likely kiss Kyle Korver goodbye. Korver was brought to Cleveland for the same reason he will be shipped away next February, knockdown shooting. Korver is 37 years old and won’t bring back much in return when he’s traded, but there’s a possibility that it’ll give us another draft pick for June. Korver seems to be one of the only players with value for a possible contending team looking for a perimeter shooter.
In the NBA, the worst team doesn’t always get the first pick in the draft, but if Cleveland were to finish last in the NBA, they would have the best odds at 25% for the first pick. Cleveland has owned the first pick in three of the last seven drafts, however, none of those times has Cleveland had the best odds for the first pick. Cleveland defied the odds in 2014 when they had the ninth-best odds, 1.70% chance at the first pick and still came away with Andrew Wiggins.
Tanking is the smartest idea for the sake of Kevin Love’s health and the drafting possibilities for the Wine and Gold going forward. Cleveland possesses their own first-round draft pick for the 2019 NBA draft, but there is a disclaimer on the pick. Cleveland must finish in the cellar of the NBA, the bottom 10 to be exact, or else the Atlanta Hawks will acquire the pick from the Kyle Korver trade back in January of 2017.
The upcoming draft class looks to be stacked to the ceiling with talent. The Duke trio of RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cameron Reddish look to be three of the top five players to go in the draft next June. Cleveland’s focus is to land somewhere in the top five in an effort to land one of the blue chips from Duke University.
While the tanking aspect will suck, the price of tickets won’t hurt. Tickets will be on SeatGeek at a discount this season. I went to the home opener this season and it only cost me $15 for a really nice view.
IMAGE VIA: CAVS NATION