If the Cavaliers are ever going to get to where they were before LeBron James took his talents to South Beach, they’re going to need to build a young nucleus of players. Those players would then form a young nucleus, which is what the Chicago Bulls have.
It would have to be an unbelievable person to get back…I look at him as one of the guys you look at and say ‘He’s not going anywhere.’ I just feel that strongly about him and what he means to this team.
The problem is that except for the young talent in place, the Cavaliers have next to nothing to offer if they’re looking for draft picks. He is not a gigantic cap hit and is under contract through the 2013-2014 season, so there is value there.
But as far as what he means to the team, Scott’s quote is laughable. He was a part of the team that went 19-63 a season ago. The same team that’s now 4-5. A player who is 29 and has been on such unsuccessful teams obviously doesn’t mean that much to the team in terms of wins and losses. What else is there?
The Cavaliers are absolutely right in looking for draft picks. They’re going to have a very hard time finding their way back to competitiveness without it. Look how long it took the post-Jordan Bulls to get back to being a title contender. Chicago is a much bigger market than Cleveland.
There are only a few ways that small-market teams can get to consistent title contention.
One is to draft a superstar who enjoys playing in a small market, like Oklahoma City did with Kevin Durant. Another is to find a dominant big man, like the Spurs did with Tim Duncan, or the Magic did with Dwight Howard. Another way is to acquire a slew of draft picks over a short period of time, build a young group and let them grow together.
If Lloyd is right, that’s exactly what the Cavaliers are trying to do, which is a promising step in the right direction. But holding onto Varejao this tightly is puzzling. He is a player that can give them some value and does very little good on the roster of a non-contending team.
The Cavaliers would do well to move Varejao for a draft pick. That pick would be a good step in moving them back to the playoffs, and he’s not helping them enough right now to be worth keeping.
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