Current Record: 11-32
Current Rank: No. 13 in Eastern Conference
What direction are the Cleveland Cavaliers moving in?
At 11-32, there isn't a whole lot going on in Cleveland worth talking about right now. They are in some sort of rebuilding mode, but thanks to a rash of injuries and questionable drafting, they haven't improved.
They were dealt a tragic blow with Anderson Varejao's injury and subsequent blood clot, as he was playing incredible for them. However, even so, with him and Kyrie Irving on the floor together, this team was 3-12.
Irving is fantastic and won a game single-handedly against Boston recently, but after missing 11 games himself, the season was pretty much dead. Before his injury, the team was only 2-8 anyway.
Tristan Thompson has a lot of value and is having himself quite a January. Right now, the Cavaliers are just Irving, Thompson and some struggling rookies. I don't see a recipe for future success here, and with some valuable assets laying around, a move is a good idea.
The rookies, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller, are both struggling to find the basket consistently. Both have great value as first-round picks, but I doubt Cleveland wants to hedge their bets this early.
However, It is hard to grow attached to a shooting guard who is hitting 38 percent from the floor, or a big man shooting 42 percent, so I wouldn't be surprised if one was used to sweeten a deal.
The problem is, with the oft-injured Varejao out for the season, Cleveland may have missed their chance to sell-high on him. On the bright side, now his crazy numbers, 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds per game, will remain. Had he played out the season with this roster, those may have dipped. GM Chris Grant can still market him based on those stellar stats.
While he won't play again this season, for the Cavaliers or any other team, there is still value in having a premier rebounder and interior scorer for roughly $9.1 and $9.8 million over the next two seasons (five percent trade kicker).
While there is little precedent trading for an injured center in the middle of the season, Andrew Bogut was moved while injured last season. Bogut was thought to have a chance of playing again in 2011-12, even though that never came to fruition.
Trading for Varejao is a move that sacrifices this season. However, down the road you are looking at quite a player. Just be careful you don't get burned like the Golden State Warriors, as Bogut has played in only four of a possible 67 games with the team.