Cavaliers Notes: Sexton, Drew, Smith, Korver

The Cavaliers are in a state of chaos that stretches from the front office to their first-round draft pick, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The four-time defending Eastern Conference champs dropped to 1-8 last night after their latest lopsided loss, a 32-point blowout in Charlotte, and there seems little chance of righting the ship without a major roster upheaval.

There’s a significant divide in the locker room between players who are holdovers from the LeBron James era and the younger talent that management sees as the team’s future, Vardon adds. The focal point is 19-year-old Collin Sexton, who was taken with the eighth pick in this year’s draft. Any time a veteran talks about someone not knowing their role or where to be on the court, it’s usually a reference to Sexton, Vardon states.

Sexton is shooting 41.3% from the field through his first nine games and has about an equal number of assists and turnovers. However, he still has the backing of owner Dan Gilbert, who wants Sexton to keep playing, according to Vardon. Also, Sexton knows he has a future with the organization, unlike many of his veteran critics.

There’s more out of Cleveland, all courtesy of Vardon:

  • A week after firing Tyronn Lue, the Cavs still doesn’t have an official interim head coach. Larry Drew is running the team, but retains his title of associate head coach while trying to negotiate an increase in his salary. The front office offered a modest raise after Lue was dismissed, but Drew is holding out for a contract extension for himself and his assistants. When management refused, Drew went public with his demands. The players support Drew, but they don’t view him as an official head coach because of the contract standoff.
  • Through nine games, J.R. Smith has been told twice that he was being taken out of the rotation, then was quickly reinstalled by both Lue and Drew. Earlier this week, GM Koby Altman offered Smith the chance to go on paid leave because he wouldn’t be playing, but he got 24 minutes last night and led the team with 14 points. “As far as I’m concerned, given what our circumstances are, J.R., he’s a member of our team, and if I need him I’m going to call on him,” Drew said.
  • When Altman re-signed Kyle Korver to a three-year deal last summer, it came with an understanding that Korver would be traded or bought out if James left in free agency. Korver asked to be dealt after James joined the Lakers, but the front office refused, saying it wanted to keep the veteran core together to compete for a playoff spot. The Cavs would want maximum value if they do move Korver, likely a first-round pick.
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11 thoughts on “Cavaliers Notes: Sexton, Drew, Smith, Korver

  1. That last paragraph in the article regarding Korver is a perfect example of why this team is in such disarray.

    How does that stuff even happen? How do you even say that kind of thing in the first place? We’ll sign you, but buy you out next week if such and such happens, and then change their mind and say no, even though we told you this and that we decided not to do it… so you’re stuck here even though we made another promise.

    • driftcat28

      Good point! I think it’s just the state of the NBA and something needs to be done to address this kind of stuff, but what can they really do? It’s like any player who demands a trade and dictates where they go holding their team hostage having to take a lesser deal because the players will come out and say they won’t resign unless moves to x place. It’s annoying and should be addressed, but how?

  2. fonz13

    Osman should be the focal point and let him and the young guns learn and hopefully we will have a top 3 pick in 2019

  3. formerlyz

    Korver should have been moved to a team like OKC during the offseason. He doesnt play defense, and they dont need his shooting

    I still say JR Smith should be starting

  4. Loren Polonsky

    The Cavs are destined to be a bottom feeder for a very long time. There appears to be a lack of leadership and vision on and off the court.

  5. TT said eastern conference title goes through CLE this yr? Now he wants to blame a 19 yr old rookie. C’mon bro

  6. fritz1910

    IMO, Cavs must move JR, Korver, and TT asap, and possibly Love (maybe next season), and get some younger, decent players and a pick or two. Gilbert knows how to package mortgage loans – but without LeBron? He’s just another super-rich guy who owns a basketball team that is very, very bad.

  7. x%sure

    They should give up on Sexton being a 1. Get a guy for that who is big enough to cover 2s and switch onto 3s & 4s while Sexton covers 1s. That way Sexton can be aggressive on offense without botching it up for everyone else. There’s a lot of 1s or combo guards that can do that.

    Of course what would have been best is to have traded that #8 Sexton pick for Kemba for the 2018 title run.
    Assuming the Irving trade had to go through before that.
    That whole linkage is looking kind of cursed!
    Gilbert had to go all Ptn/Dionis and turn on Lebron is why. Fools.

  8. east333

    Sexton is raw. I think his criticism for jumpers gets exaggerated a bit. He’s got room to grow and get stronger. Nance needs more work too. Credo needs to work on dribbling and footing. But if enough time is spent with a high draft pick, there’s a chance this team can compete in a few years. Just build a core and give it time. No one is getting thru the Warriors anyways.

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