Cleveland Cavaliers Floundering: How Low Can Cleveland Go?

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2011

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 15:  Antawn Jamison #4  of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots a free throw during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 15, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers are making headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, with a loss on Tuesday to the Los Angeles Lakers by 55 points followed by a loss to the Utah Jazz by 22 points on Friday night.

Not exactly an impressive stretch by any means.

Now, they are playing the Denver Nuggets right now, the same Denver Nuggets that beat the LeBron-less Miami Heat by 28 points just a few nights ago, and are on their way to yet another beat-down.

I want to say that they have hit rock bottom, but as soon as I do that they will probably go out and have a game worse than their worst game of the year so far.

They were expected to struggle, but nobody really expected them to struggle this much, with some (yea...even me) giving them an outside chance at a playoff appearance in the Eastern Conference.

The Cavaliers also seem to be the biggest candidate for a fire sale in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline.

That means they could end up trading anywhere from two to all of their best players before the middle of February.

Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams, Anderson Varejao (although less now that he is injured), Anthony Parker, and Jamario Moon are all viable trade pieces due to their abilities or their expiring contracts, and there is no way they would say that any player is untouchable as of right now.

The players that were supposed to keep them afloat until they find a player to replace LeBron James are not working out as well as it seemed they would.

JJ Hickson has taken a big step backward this year, averaging only 11 points and six rebounds a game, and has not produced well enough to help the team win many games.

Cleveland has begun to rely heavily on young players such as Daniel Gibson, Ramon Sessions, and more recently Manny Harris and Alonzo Gee, who have been unable to make up for the poor shooting of Mo Williams, the injury to Anderson Varejao, and the fact that Antawn Jamison is their most reliable player.

In short, everything has gone wrong for a team that needed everything to go right if they wanted to compete at all this season, and the end is still not in sight.

Cleveland is currently the owner of the worst record in the NBA, and even if they were to end up with the number one pick in the draft after the season (and with their luck this season they wont even get a top five pick), there is no telling what they will get out of it.

With a lockout looming, more underclassmen will likely end up staying in school, and even if it does end up getting resolved by the time the draft comes around, none of the players coming out look to be sure thing prospects.

They are a terrible team this season, and if everything ends up going against them in the coming months, they could end up becoming a worse team next season.

We are talking historically bad here.

If the Cavaliers do end up trading Jamison and Williams, they will likely end up taking draft picks and some ugly contracts in return, meaning they will not get any better immediately through the trade market.

Cleveland could end up with a lineup that boasts Gerald Wallace, four mannequins, three corpses, and four raw talent guys if current trade rumors come to fruition.

That could mean a year of mediocrity at best, or less than a dozen wins at best.

The people of Cleveland are used to suffering through terrible season after terrible season, but they aren't happy with it.

It's going to take many smart moves and a lot of good luck for the Cavaliers to be any bit competitive in the next three seasons, and neither are something that Cleveland seems to be getting as of right now.