Things have not gone according to plan this season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They will certainly be one of the teams hoping to improve the roster before the trade deadline on Feb. 20.
Despite coming into the year with high expectations, the squad could only manage a 16-33 record as of Feb. 6, continuing a six-game losing streak.
Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio is one of many calling for immediate action:
The Cavs have to stop waiting for the media to ask the tough questions. They have to ask those questions themselves. They have to accept the fact that the solutions are going to be very difficult.
But there's nothing easy about professional sports. Easy doesn't factor into times like these. You know that old line about drastic measures? The Cavs are there. Do something. Now.
The question remains about whether anything can actually get done. Here is a look at the latest rumors coming from around the league discussing a potential deal in Cleveland.
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Cavaliers have traded for Spencer Hawes:
Philadelphia has traded Spencer Hawes to Cleveland, league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 20, 2014
Philadelphia will receive two second round picks from Cavs for Hawes, league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 20, 2014
ESPN's Marc Stein previously reported the Cavaliers were shuffling their priorities heading into the deadline:
Cavs obviously talking to numerous teams on many fronts, but I'm told one newer focus for them is potential deal for Philly's Spencer Hawes— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 20, 2014
ESPN's Marc Stein reports Luol Deng is receiving interest from a team in the East:
ESPN's Brian Windhorst previously reported the Cavs are considering moving Deng by the deadline:
Concerned about re-signing him, Cavs have been testing trade market for Luol Deng ahead of deadline, multiple sources told ESPN.
However, Ken Berger of CBS Sports is reporting that Cleveland is trying to land a veteran in exchange for Deng:
The Cavs have shifted away from trying to secure a first-round pick for Luol Deng and are scanning the market for a veteran, sources say.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 20, 2014
Most of the trade chatter surrounding the Cavs has involved them trading away players...until now.
As Cleveland currently enjoys a 5-game winning streak, ESPN's Marc Stein reports that the team is interested in acquiring Jordan Hill from the Lakers:
Hearing now that Cavs have strongly emerged as team trying to trump BKN and acquire Jordan Hill from Lakers. Looks like Cavs & Nets for Hill— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 19, 2014
Cleveland surprised many by selecting Dion Waiters with the fourth overall selection in the 2012 NBA draft. While he was impressive in his first season, he has not made the jump that team officials were hoping for in his second year.
Additionally, his attitude has come into question. Waiters was kicked out of a recent practice, according to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News.
As a result, the young shooting guard could be one of the players shipped out before the deadline, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:
The Cavaliers are open for business. The two names mentioned most around the league are second year guard Dion Waiters and veteran forward Alonzo Gee. Waiters and lead guard Kyrie Irving has not meshed well together and the Cavs seem to be accepting that moving Waiters has to happen.
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal has heard similar buzz:
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.
Meanwhile, Waiters is attempting to keep a positive attitude through the rumors. He told Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
I don't worry about that stuff. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. If not, it's not. I can't control that. It's out of my hands.
It's our job at the end of the day. We've got to go to work. Sometimes you feel like, 'Why are we coming in?' But you come in to get better. Everything's not going to change overnight. As a team facing adversity and with a lot of BS that's in the media that's not true, we've got to stick together.
A positive attitude surrounding the situation is a good thing, but the time might come where Waiters no longer has a choice with his situation.
When you find a franchise point guard who plays at an All-Star level, you do not tend to get rid of him.
ESPN's Chad Ford recently stated in a chat session, "Kyrie Irving has been telling people privately he wants out."
The good news is he denied these rumors, telling Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:
Yes, I’m in Cleveland. I enjoy myself. I enjoy going out and competing at the highest level for the Cleveland Cavaliers. That’s what it’s about. It’s not about me and it’s not about this controversy, ‘Do I privately want out when my contract is up?’ I’m still in my rookie contract and I’m happy to be here. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to be here for a long time. I’m not saying anything to tell the future, but I’m pretty sure the relationship I have with Dan Gilbert and management extends off the court. I enjoy being here.
Lloyd also provides more details of the situation in his own report:
Irving’s behavior has also irritated teammates and other members of the organization, but the Cavs are expected to offer him a max contract extension this summer and aren’t believed to be considering trading him. Two general managers told the Beacon Journal this year that Irving is pouting, something he denied to the Beacon Journal after practice Friday.
Obviously, the situation is not ideal with a star player causing problems on and off the court. However, Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times believes there is no doubt Irving stays:
I have Kyrie Irving deciding between singing with the Cavs long term in blue or black ink - that's about it - even that may be no choice— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) February 3, 2014
The point guard will be looking for as much guaranteed money as possible while the team will hope to lock up their talented player for the long term. Even if there are some bad feelings from either side, money solves all problems.