The Cleveland Cavaliers are 5-12. Playing in an Eastern Conference that is historically awful this year, this group has lost seven of its last nine and appears destined to get another nifty lottery pick come season’s end. Sure, we’re only 17 games into this thing, but it seems safe to say that the Mike Brown hiring and Anthony Bennett draft picks didn’t work out as planned.
Understandably, as was made abundantly clear by the Andrew Bynum signing, Cleveland wants to win now. Maybe not a title, but, you know, at least some games.
The team will not win now as presently constructed.
According to ESPN, the Cavs are “actively” shopping Dion Waiters. Thus far management has reportedly reached out to the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago Bulls. The exact packages in each proposed scenario vary depending on who you talk to, but it’s safe to assume that Iman Shumpert, Evan Turner and Luol Deng are the focal pieces of each respective deal.
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By all accounts, Chicago and Deng seem intent on coming to terms. Along the same lines, although it appears inevitable that New York will trade Shumpert, Cleveland doesn’t have enough to pique their interest. That just leaves Philly, maybe.
Waiters, 21, was the Cavs’ No. 4 pick two years ago. His value ballooned in the lead-up to the draft for reasons no one who watched him play quite understood, and the results have been more or less predictable. He has butted heads with the franchise’s best players; he is an inefficient shooter; and he has a tendency to make bad decisions on defense.
The question at this point is: What can Cleveland realistically get for Waiters? His value is at an all-time low, and other teams realize that his days as a Cavalier are numbered.
Mid-December is when trade talks really start to heat up, because that’s when players signed over the summer can get dealt. Maybe between now and then Waiters and the Cavs can smooth things over and avoid a deal that wouldn’t be very good for anyone involved.