Even more than we’d imagine following the departure of LeBron James in free agency, the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently a hot mess.
Here’s a team that’s 1-8 on the season, its worst start in more than a quarter century. Veteran J.R. Smith has been taken out of the rotation and has since requested a trade. Meanwhile, Kyle Korver is clearly on the trade block.
The backdrop here is the roster make up. With Kevin Love sidelined to injury, this is the least-talented team in the Association. One might figure that would lead to the Cavaliers playing rookie No. 8 pick Collin Sexton more.
Unfortunately, the veterans on this Cavaliers roster are not sold on Sexton. In fact, they have no confidence that he knows how to play basketball.
This is a real thing, and it’s pretty darn eye-opening.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that when you hear a Cavs veteran talk about younger players not knowing their role, or knowing how to win, or what to do on the court, they mean Sexton,” The Athletic’s Joe Vardon reported Sunday. “Throughout the organization, the line on Sexton is that he does not ‘know how to play.'”
Well, that’s just not good. What’s even more interesting is that the Cavaliers as a whole have not performed like they know what they’re doing. This isn’t simply limited to Sexton.
The teenager is averaging 11.1 points and shooting at a 41 percent clip from the field. Meanwhile, the likes of Smith and Korver, two of the team’s most-veteran players, are averaging a combined 10.3 points per game.
Not only has Cleveland lost eight of its first nine games, the team is being outscored by an average of 11.8 points per game. Ouch.