Cleveland Cavaliers’ offeseason proves winning does not cure all ails

The Cleveland Cavaliers are quite the oddity.  Although they have been to three straight NBA Finals, winning one in 2016, (and with the current state of the Eastern Conference, they are in a prime position to make additional runs to at least the East Finals) the Cavaliers find themselves in what was termed "a peculiar place." 

Since losing the second of their three NBA Finals matchups with the Golden State Warriors, the Cavaliers' offseason has been undergirded with disfunction. It began with allowing David Griffin, their General Manager who constructed the roster that went to three consecutive NBA Finals, to leave because of the confounding ineptitude of the Cavaliers' owner, Dan Gilbert. What makes this move even more mystifying ( although at the same time not surprising given Gilbert's propensity for not retaining GM's) is the timing of the move- three days before the NBA draft and as Griffin was hard at work on deals that could have brought in Jimmy Butler, and/or potentially other players. This essentially quashed any chance of obtaining Butler,or any other impact player the ill-timing of the decision not to retain Griffin placed the Cavaliers in the unenviable position of not having a General Manager during the critical time of the NBA draft and free-agency. 

People around the league talk and the organizational instability of the Cleveland Cavaliers that is on full display for all to see and can be a reason Cleveland could find itself hard pressed to attract top talent, be it front office personnel, coaches or players. A lack of confidence in the front office to make the necessary moves to field the most competitive team possible gives a certain superstar all the ammunition he would need to leave "home."

As if losing the NBA Finals, letting your highly skilled General Manager walk, and striking out in free agency and trades were not bad enough, the second best player on the Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving, has made it clear he does not want to be there and has asked to be traded. He cited wanting to be the focal point of a team and no longer wanting to play with LeBron James. Both of these reasons seem odd because of the team and individual success Irving has enjoyed over the past three seasons. Speculation has run rampant over whether there is some sort issue between Irving and James, something newly minted GM Koby Altman called "overblown."

I think a lot of it has been overblown. I think the people who are in this building every day haven’t seen any of that animosity. This is, along with Kevin Love, this is a group that got us to three straight Finals and won an NBA championship together. They play great together on the floor and a lot of that I do think is overblown.” – Cavaliers' General Manager Koby Altman

Despite all of the turmoil, owner Dan Gilbert said he expects Irving to be there when training camp commences. 

These things are fluid. We think that Kyrie Irving is one of the best guards in the NBA. He was part of a championship, three years straight to the Finals and we value his talent — significantly. 

Right now Kyrie Irving is under contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for two or three years, depending on the last year. As of now he’s one of our best players and sure, we expect him to be in camp

We are 81 days from the start of the 2017-18 NBA season which means Cleveland has plenty of time to make even more mistakes. 

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