Cleveland Cavaliers: Why They Will Be NBA's Worst Team for Years

Stephen PattersonCorrespondent IFebruary 26, 2011

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 27:  Majority owner Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks to the media prior to playing the Boston Celtics in the Cavaliers 2010 home opner at Quicken Loans Arena on October 27, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2010 NBAE (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

While most people in Cleveland seemed thrilled Dan Gilbert and GM Chris Grant found a way to land a "star" player at the trade deadline, I'm not sure they should be as excited as they seem.

The Clippers sent an unprotected first-round pick in this year's draft with Baron Davis for a reason, and it wasn't because Mo Williams is a downgrade for them.

Before getting the chance to feed passes to Blake Griffin this season, Davis had basically been useless to the Clippers over the previous two years, and considering he was playing for Donald Sterling's team, I don't really blame him.

The fact that he is going from playing with Griffin to playing for the league's worst team will probably bring back out the old Davis we saw during his first two seasons with Los Angeles, which isn't good for a young Cavs squad.

After this summer, Dan Gilbert has to be the NBA's second-most hated owner behind Sterling amongst the players, so the change in who is signing his paychecks won't be cheering up Davis anytime soon.

Even though head coach Byron Scott is saying he and Davis have healed their past differences from their time together in New Orleans, do you really think he would admit they actually hate each other to the media if they in fact did?

The Cavaliers are destined to have the worst record in the NBA this season even with Davis, and I'm pretty sure he knows that too, meaning his effort for the rest of the season is going to be somewhere being non-existent and barely showing a pulse.

J.J. Hickson is really the only quality player the Cavaliers can build around, but I can promise you he will be out the door the first chance he gets after the way he saw Gilbert treat LeBron James in the media over the summer after his departure.

Hickson knows firsthand that management can't land the right players in trades, as seen by the fact the team couldn't appease LeBron James during seven years' worth of chances, and after Davis' acquisition, they obviously still aren't getting better at finding the right people.

Antawn Jamison and Ramon Sessions, the second and third-best players on the current roster, will likely be traded during the offseason after enduring this train wreck of a season in Cleveland.

Anthony Parker, who is an unrestricted free agent, will almost certainly be out the door unless Gilbert obscenely overpays him to stick around.

Even the fact that they own multiple draft picks in the first round of this year's draft, including more than likely the first overall, probably won't help the Cavaliers anytime in the near future as this year's draft class is considered weak by many.

Chad Ford of ESPN has reported that the Cavaliers might be targeting Duke's Kyrie Irving if they land the first overall pick as they are projected to do.

The pick they received from the Clippers, which will likely be somewhere within the first 10 picks, could land them with any number of players considering they could use improvements at every position.

However, I expect they will target a small forward if they go with Irving first overall, meaning there are several choices that are considered top 10 talents in this year's class.

Perry Jones (Baylor), Harrison Barnes (UNC), Terrence Jones (Kentucky) and Kawhi Leonard (SDSU) could all be available depending on where the pick ends up, but none of those players are ready to be major contributors to an NBA team immediately except maybe Perry Jones.

Jones will likely be off the board for their second pick, however, unless they receive some extremely good luck and land two picks in the first three or four through the lottery.

Add in the fact that there won't be any All-Star free agents touring Cleveland anytime soon during the summer, and it may be a while before any significant help is on the way for the Cavs.

Unless Gilbert finds a way to swing a major trade either this summer or before next season's trade deadline that lands a bona fide star back in Cleveland to fill James' shoes, the Cavaliers could very well finish next season with the NBA's worst record as well as this one.

It was only seven short months ago that Gilbert was ranting and raving about how the Cavaliers would be NBA champions before the Miami Heat could win a title; however, it seems like decades ago now.

With the way teams are getting stacked up in the East, Gilbert will be thankful if his team even achieves a seventh seed and a first-round playoff in a season during the next five years or so.

Miami, Chicago, New York, Boston, Orlando and Atlanta are all likely to remain near the top of the standings in the Eastern conference for a while to come, meaning Cleveland can get used to being near the bottom for just as long.