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Report: Cavaliers likely to shake up roster before trade deadline, which could mean dealing Dion Waiters

Feb 3, 2014, 10:14 AM EDT

dion waiters Getty Images

The reports of problems with the Cavaliers have been largely ongoing this season, but reached what may have been a tipping point over the last few days.

Luol Deng, who was recently traded to Cleveland from Chicago, was reportedly shocked at what a mess the team is, which included details of Dion Waiters getting kicked out of a practice but suffering no further consequences, others threatening not to play at halftimes of games, and showing no respect whatsoever for head coach Mike Brown.

An organization should never let things get to this point, obviously, but now that we’re here, it can’t be expected to continue. And the latest report says that the team is likely to shake up its roster before the upcoming trade deadline on Feb. 20.

From Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

Two sources close to the team confirmed that barring a significant turnaround before the trade deadline, this roster will likely face some upheaval. That very well could include Waiters, whose act has worn thin on his teammates and various members of the organization.

Waiters is just in his second season, but has continued to show a level of immaturity both on the court and behind closed doors with teammates. He was taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft, so the Cavs have been reluctant to trade him so quickly, despite his clashes with Kyrie Irving — unquestionably, the team’s star player and the one they want to build around for the future.

This was supposed to be a season where the Cavaliers made a leap to the postseason. The team was aggressive in free agency during the summer in adding Earl Clark, Jarrett Jack and Andrew Bynum, and once the Bynum experiment failed, they immediately tried to fix it by acquiring a hard-working, two-time All-Star.

But the problems in Cleveland clearly stem from the top. Brown may be a solid basketball mind (especially on the defensive side), but he’s shown now in consecutive situations he has no idea how to manage internal strife — either with veteran players like he had in Los Angeles, or with younger, less emotionally-mature talent like he currently has in place.

A roster change may be a short-term solution. But until the organization gets more qualified leadership in place, the faces may change, but the problems are likely to continue in some capacity.

  1. losangelesbillsofbuffalo - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    A Comedian and a Mechanic walk into a bar. The Mechanic says to the bartender, “tell me a joke.” The Bartender says, “The Cleveland Cavaliers.”

    • maracineanu16 - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:20 AM


  2. timberwolvesbrisin - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Stop contributing to the overratedness that is Kyrie Irving. He’s not an “unquestionable star.”

    • maracineanu16 - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      In fact – pretty questionable star

    • ryanrockzzz - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      I think he is. He’s average 21.5 points per game and 6 assists on a bad team. And over a steal per game. He has a problem with his volume shooting this year at times, but honestly it’s a product of how bad this team is. When you only have playsers like Thompson, Waiters, Clark etc to pass to, it’s either Kyrie or Deng needing to supply everything.

    • slowclyde86 - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      Spot on. Unquestionable stars play defense and elevate those around them both on and off the court. Irving is still young so there is time, but the clock is ticking.

      Secondly, as to “But until the organization gets more qualified leadership in place, the faces may change, but the problems are likely to continue in some capacity”—Brown is not the primary problem. Grant is not the primary problem. It starts with the owner. He has shown a lack of patience that will continually lead to myopic, panicked decisions until he changes or sells the team. Panic trades at the deadline this year to improve from pathetically awful to merely dreadful at the expense of coming years and drafts—great idea!

    • ronp2 - Feb 4, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      Well if you read what was actually written, “…Kyrie Irving — unquestionably, the team’s star player…”, it’s accurate. THE TEAM’S meaning the Cavs. He’s their best player, period. No one on the team worries any other team except him…until Deng got here. Btw, no one on this team plays defense…and even less play team defense. Having good defensive rotation helps the individual defender look better. But when everyone is playing D like bullfighters, the entire team suffers.

  3. kb2408 - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Oh, “NOW” they’re willing to deal Waiters?!! They could’ve traded him and Bynum to the LAKERS for Pau two weeks ago. Idiots.

    • bougin89 - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      Why not get Deng for Bynum and still have Waiters for trade bait?

      • legend30 - Feb 3, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        Because kb2408 is a Lakers fan, he doesn’t have any basketball knowledge. He expects the Lakers to have LeBron, Durant, S. Curry, P. George and K. Love as the starting five. The sixth man would be J. Harden.


  4. rsolinski - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Time to blow it up…..Keep Irving (keep an eye on him tho…no team with a score first pg has won a championship in the last 10 years…look at how well the Thunder are doing without Westbrick!), Thompson, Verajao (can’t see him being a problem except calling out the knuckleheads…the guy is all hustle!), Deng, Delly, Zeller and Bennett (because you have to)…and clean house!! Brown, Grant and all the malcontents for whatever you can get for them…of course draft picks are useless if you keep Grant and Brown…I have seen EVERY game and it is getting comical…(PLAYOFFS? voice of Jim Mora)…Dan Gilbert it is time to swallow you Dan Snyder/Jerry Jones like pride…admit your mistakes and move on…Mike Brown can’t run an offense that can score the ball and the NBA is all about buckets…and hoping to play just enough D to win…I think it is funny to hear the exasperation in Austin Carr’s voice every night…Tell’em AC!

  5. cantonbound13 - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Deal Irving, he’s leaving anyway.

  6. starovermiami - Feb 3, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Wait ,wait…… Lebron is going back to Cleveland!…….LMAO!!!!

  7. bensstinkyfingers - Feb 3, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Mike Brown needs to go first! He was only successful as a H.C. when he had Lebron on the roster. He can take Grant with him, boneheaded personell moves have set this team back since Grant took over as G.M. Irving is more hype than anything, great ball handler, scorer, but doesn’t play “d” or get his teammates involved on the court, and has no leadership qualities that the “star” you are building a team around needs to possess. There is not one player on the cav’s roster that should be untouchable in trade talks. With one of the best drafts upcoming in 2014 they need to gather picks, and Start from square one next season, and pray Lebron for some reason, wants to come back and prove he can win a title with this mess of a franchise(highly unlikely). Good Luck Gilbert!

  8. campcouch - Feb 3, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    The term “reportedly” means rumor. Seemed like everyone in the normal rotation played…because that game check would’ve stopped if they didn’t lol. I’d be shocked at dysfunction too if the employee turnover was 40% every year. That’s on the front office,not the players. Trade Waiters,please. He’ll be a 6th or 7th man on another team so at least get cash or a pick or expiring contract for him. He’s actually a worst pick than Bennett. At least he was a projected commodity,Dion Waiters had some good games coming off the bench at Syracuse vs other bench players so that’s telling me Grant didn’t do his homework…or at least watch tv. Definitely should have kept Danny Ferry but fear and anger ruled the day and the owner made terrible choices during the James debacle. Time to cut your (many) losses and reset with this deep draft and FA crop starting with the GM.

  9. billtetley53 - Feb 4, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Spot on analysis Legend.

    KB2408 is an idiot. 40 Yeats old, swoons over Kobe like a middle school girl. Knows nothing about basketball whatsoever. Hell, he didn’t know how great of a defensive player Jerry West was until I schooled him on it.

    He just blindly refuses to acknowledge that the nba landscape has chaned regarding player movement with the latest cba. Players are just going to flock to the lakers because “its l.a. Totally disregarding the fact that Shaq was the last major free agent signed.

    Everyone else was a trade. Now, the cupboards bare. Aging, injury prone stars, the rest of the roster is d league material. a draft pick every other year for the next 4 years.
    But the idiotic trade scenarios keep coming, supposed to just give up players for garbage because “its the lakers”

    Pitiful. I really hope this team is bad for the longer than 5 years I think it will be.

    The fanbase deserves it and dummy here deserves it most of all.

  10. amlowlife - Feb 5, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    This was absolutely the worst environment for #1 pick Bennett. He doesn’t have a strong personality and showed that at UNLV which also had some cancers in the locker room, too (most have since left).

    Bennett needs a structured environment with true leaders so he can get some confidence to go along with his physical abilities and it doesn’t look like he’ll get that this year.

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