The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a tricky spot ahead of the trade deadline. If the team stands pat, they very likely are headed for a top-five seed in the playoffs. By pulling off a trade, the team could theoretically boost their chances, but also risk upsetting the delicate chemistry that head coach JB Bickerstaff has built over the last two seasons.
So which route will they take?
According to insider Chris Haynes, it’s the latter. He opened up to his co-host Marc Stein on their podcast #thisleague UNCUT this week and reported that Cleveland has a strong shot at landing New York Knicks castaway Cam Reddish.
“So two teams that I’ve heard tied to Cam Reddish, and one team in particular I gotta get your opinion on Stein, but…Cleveland is a team that I was told that has a really good shot at making this deal work, making it happen. The other team? Dallas,” Haynes noted.
Reddish is having a tough go in New York. In just under 22 minutes per game, the former Duke Blue Devil small forward and top-10 pick is averaging just 8.4 points and 1.6 rebounds per night.
Bickerstaff Hits Out at ‘Negativity’ Following Cavaliers
Before the new year, Cleveland had been rolling, regularly ranking in the top-four of the Eastern Conference.
But January was a particularly uneven month, with the Cavs barely breaking even and slipping to fifth place, effectively losing home-court advantage in the playoffs if the season ended today.
Nonetheless, the Cavs have much to be proud of. And after Tuesday’s loss to the Miami Heat, Bickerstaff hit back at the dark cloud that had been following Cleveland over the last few weeks.
“I just don’t like the negativity that’s surrounding the group as if something wrong is happening,” Bickerstaff said, per Chris Fedor of cleveland.com. “There’s too many positive things that this team has accomplished to allow any negativity around our group.”
Bickerstaff went on to praise his team, noting just how special the group was for its accomplishments and age.
“There are seven teams that have more than 30 wins in the NBA and we’re one of those teams,” Bickerstaffe explained. “None of those teams in the Eastern Conference start a 21-year-old, a 22-year-old, 23-year-old, a 24-year-old, and a 26-year-old. The teams ahead of us are teams that have been weathered and been through things that have built that.”
Mitchell Voices Frustration Over Recent Play
One source of that negativity within the locker room is Donovan Mitchell. After that Heat loss, Mitchell expressed his unhappiness with how the team had been playing of late.
“I think we’re all kind of tired of coming here and saying, ‘We’re learning.’ You want to learn through success, and we haven’t played well,” Mitchell said. “That’s just the honest truth. We’ve got to find a way to do that. That’s on all of us.”
The Cavaliers, in all likelihood, will sort themselves out over the next few weeks. Let’s not forget the team is reintegrating Ricky Rubio back into the lineup after missing nearly a year with injury. The youth and inexperience will show from time to time, but that’s what a season is for.
The Cavaliers have a chance to get back on track tonight at home against the Memphis Grizzlies.