Kyrie Irving in his second season has amassed high critical acclaim. Rookie of the year award, MVP in the rookie vs sophomore game, and now his first all star appearance.
Irving is a special talent no doubt, if he can avoid the injury bug, his ceiling is as high as any young star with potential.
However, what does this mean for the Cavs and their rebuilding strategy. The Cavs are one of the youngest teams in the league. Two second year players and a rookie comprise 60% of their starting lineup. Their bench consists of very few players that could crack an 8 man rotation on another NBA team and their roster as a whole lacks the presence of veterans needed to be successful.
So what is the Cavaliers plan? How long is losing to be accepted? When is the time to make a move towards being just average?
These are questions only Cavs top men can answer, nonetheless, the reality of the situation is, whatever it is that you want to see from the Cavs, right now they’re a bad team with a lot of young players shouldering the burden.
Growing pains are to be expected, but is it fair to ask fans to sit through a third season of 30 or less wins? The Cavs were thrown into a rebuilding situation when the best player in their history left without warning, and watching the way they’re building now, growing sentiment is they’re placing all their eggs in the basketball of one player again and run the risk of staying in this whirlwind of mediocrity for years to come.
In their defense, there is no ‘quick’ way to build an NBA team. While you can have a no tolerance policy when it comes to them and winning, with most situations there’s a gray area and the Cavs are living on its property with a mansion and a butler.
Their draft picks are unable to be judged at this point because Tristan Thompson has played just barely 100 games and the other two rookies, Tyler Zeller and Dion Waiters, have no veteran at their position to teach them some of the tricks of the trade. Two of those three players are big men (Thompson and Zeller), and big men usually take 3 years to develop and become what they will for their career. The other is a guard (Waiters) who is a streaky scorer who will run hot in cold, and with time you can only hope he becomes more consistent.
The mantra of patience, while tiresome on the ears of fans, is something that is needed when it comes to those three players. No concrete decision can be made on them just because there simply isn’t enough tape on them to determine that they will be productive or bust.
Where the Cavs can improve is in their activity in free agency. CJ Miles type of players isn’t going to get it done. While the pickings are quite slim, they have to find a way to get a guy to come to Cleveland that can be of impact.
Perhaps they’re waiting for the right moment and player. Plausible, but where is the calculated risk move, when do you do something that is risque for the sake of trying to speed up the process by adding some talent to a team that is severely malnourished.
Kyrie Irving making the all star team shows that he can shine even though the pieces around him aren’t the greatest. However, if they hope to keep him, and make this team an attractive one, they’re going to have to make some additions that show you’re doing all you can to win. Because from the outside looking in, the view is ‘we’re going to wait for lightening to strike twice and play it safe’.