Should the Cavaliers Still Be in Tank Mode?

The Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves, yet again, in a familiar situation. One that has become a theme around some teams throughout the NBA. Should the Cavs tank the 2019 season away?

Photo Courtesy of Gus Chan, The Plain Dealer

To tank, or not to tank? That is the question the Cleveland Cavaliers are pondering for the upcoming season.

With the draft just a few days away, the Cavs find themselves, yet again, in another situation that has become all too familiar to, not only the organization but the NBA as well.

For teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, tanking seemed to work out in their favor, barring a solid four-to-five year stretch that resulted in some of the worst seasons in its history. 

However, other teams such as the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, despite high-quality draft picks, find themselves at the bottom the NBA rankings every year.

We’ve seen what happens when the Cavaliers actually try to tank, as the team currently owns the fifth pick in the 2019 draft, despite odds being in their favor to have a top-three pick. 

So, what should the Cavaliers do this time around? 

Dan Gilbert, who has been battling health issues, has given the green light for the front office to be aggressive during this year’s free-agency and the upcoming draft, as well as suiting up possible trade partners, to really turn the team around.

But there’s a problem…

The Cavaliers do not have many players that are worth getting rid of. They also have players that, well, no one really wants. 

Names like Jordan Clarkson have been thrown around as possible targets, but the possibilities are very limited with what the Cavaliers have to give in trades, making it even more difficult to get quality pieces in return.

Between some bad contracts and little aspiring talent, I don’t expect the Cavs to get amazing offers in trades. As for the players that are promising for the Cavs, they want and need to keep them. 

That being said, most Cavs fans can only hope of getting rid of players such as Tristan Thompson and JR Smith, just to get them off the books and on someone else’s plate. However, as much as I want the Cleveland Cavaliers to have a better year this season, I’m just not entirely sure they are ready for that.

Unless the team can blow this draft out of the water or make some serious moves (such as moving up and drafting RJ Barrett), I just don’t believe the Cavs will have a chance in a conference that just crowned its first NBA champion since our beloved Cavaliers team won it all in 2016. (Now I’m sad)

The Cavaliers are a few years away from being, at the very least, a playoff team. The team’s best route is to build in the draft with quality, young talent and hope to attract some star players that way. 

This strategy seemed to work in 2014, when Lebron James decided to make his return to the team, joining forces with the likes of Kyrie Irving and eventually Kevin Love. Hopefully, they can actually draft the right players and not another Anthony Bennett, which was a complete and utter disaster for the Cavs.

It might take a few years to get there, but it’s a small price to pay in order to get back to being a relevant NBA team. 

It’ll be a big summer for the organization moving forward, so let’s just hope the Cavaliers don’t get too aggressive and trade away some of the core pieces this team has, such as Collin Sexton, Larry Nance, Jr., and even Cedi Osman.

Build around the current core group of guys with some young talent and let your coach do what he was brought here to do, which is to develop the young guns and get this team back to the playoffs once again.

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