ESPN’s Chad Ford calls Cavs one of NBA’s biggest messes

Dan Gilbert, Mike Brown, Chris Grant

Dan Gilbert, Mike Brown, Chris GrantAt 10-20, it’s undoubtedly been a disappointing start to the season for the Cavaliers. But are they the NBA’s biggest disappointment?

ESPN Insider’s Chad Ford has posted a weekly “Tank Rank” article about the leading worst teams in the league. The Cavs have been occasional entrants into the top-10 listing so far. In Monday’s article (subscription required), they gained premium real estate at the No. 4 spot.

Here is how Ford began his comments on Cleveland this week:

I’m not sure there is a team in a bigger mess than the Cavs are right now. Owner Dan Gilbert wants the playoffs. The team he’s fielding is disjointed and filled with several players that are more interested in their daily stat line then the win-loss column.

Ford also noted that the Cavs are in the “worst sort of space” when it comes to trying to contend, yet actually failing. They have no intentions of actually tanking, per everything that’s been said by Gilbert and the front office. But as of now, they’re one of the NBA’s eight worst teams.

Sure, I believe it’d be preferable for the organization’s long-term future to actually tank and get another top draft pick. I don’t necessarily think a draft-pick core of Sergey Karasev, Anthony Bennett, Tyler Zeller, Dion Waiters Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving will ever be good enough on its own. Ideally, more firepower would come from the draft.

But that’s probably not what the Cavs see at the moment. They’ve been rumored in multiple trade conversations. The Andrew Bynum suspension has placed an odd shadow over the season. It’s unknown what’s coming up next. Ford’s comments seem to hit the nail in the coffin over the terrible status of the team’s failures.

[Related: Cavs at NBA’s one-third mark: How much patience is left?]

(AP Photo/Jason Miller)

  • Natedawg86


  • M. Bison

    I clicked on this headline link and it brought me to a picture of Haslam and Banner. Why?

  • Wow

    Wow hard to believe any team is worse.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Hard to believe just a few months ago (Indians making playoffs, Cavaliers with so much young talent and cap space for the upcoming offseason and the Browns at 4-5) and now, well, hereeeeeeeeeeeeeeee we go again!

    The Cavaliers are a mess on and off the court. I’m not a Dan Gilbert fan I think he’s an excellent businessman who is clueless when it comes to sports. It’s obvious much the way Mark Shapiro runs the Indians that Chris Grant is running the Cavaliers and despite his tremendous accounting in the way of contracts his decision making is very questionable. Unfortunately for Cavaliers fans his two biggest decisions which can be questioned both came this season: the first to bring back Mike Brown and the second in drafting Anthony Bennett. Fortunately for Grant the Eastern Conference is so bad that despite being 10-20 the Cavaliers playoff hopes are still alive.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The Cleveland Browns. :-(

  • architrance

    The Nets & Knicks are both absolute disasters with no upcoming draft picks.

  • Bluedog93

    I think I could make an argument that the Browns are, somehow, an even bigger NBA mess than the Cavs.

  • Brian

    A high draft pick does nothing for this team – they don’t draft well and the environment/culture of the team are apparently terrible for developing young talent. I truly believe that whoever the Spurs take in the 20s will be better than whoever the Cavs get in the top 5 – they draft smart and put them in position to succeed.

  • Rudy

    What, bringing back a coach who couldn’t win a championship with LeBron James was a mistake?

  • Sagat

    You shut your mouth!

  • Sagat

    Shut it!

  • Balrog

    Both of you shut it!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    And either was remodeling an old abandoned department store and turning it into a casino.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    And either was remodeling an old abandoned department store and turning it into a casino.

  • Markn95

    To be fair to Grant, the last 3 drafts have been historically bad. At least he took Kyrie over Derrick Williams; the latter would have been a failure for the ages.

  • Harv 21

    Ok, so Grant may not draft so well, but he’s aces at positioning for the future by accumulating valuable future assets. Not to mention managing cap space like nobody’s business.

    (Why you wanna do me like that Brian? Happy freakin’ new year to you too, pal!)

  • B-bo

    Takes some real insider info to come up with that assessment. Nice work, Chad Ford.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Sounds like the Browns. If you never capitalize or use that positioning what’s the point? Grant’s next off-season is huge IMO.

  • BisonDeleSightings

    Yep, and they are #1 and #2 in payroll committed through next season.

  • BisonDeleSightings

    You never know when opportunities are going to come to use those assets. Houston seemed to be floundering with their plentiful assets until James Harden came available.

  • Horace

    So, what’s the alternative: shoot for the 8th seed and get swept in the first round? Then, roll with kyrie, dion, and tristan as our “big 3” for the next 5 years and pray for a championship?

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I’d feel a lot more confident if we had jabari parker, andrew wiggins, joel embiid, or marcus smart on our roster next year. Bottom line, our current nucleus is at least one legit all-star level player (not deng, gasol, or other 30+ year old has beens) away from sniffing the top 3 in the east for the foreseeable future.

  • Brian

    Keep trying to win every game until luck or opportunity hits. Find a paul george at 9, be in position to trade for a harden. I just don’t believe that promoting losing is good for the young players on the team. Btw I think most of this team is garbage – waiters and thompson are role players on a championship team, not foundational pieces.

  • Horace

    In the past 3 years, we’ve whiffed, to varying degrees, on two #4 picks, a #1 pick, and two picks in the late teens. Are you confident that we’ll find a paul george in the mid teens (where we’ll pick if we are the 8 seed)? Not to mention, the odds of getting an elite, all star level player are very slim after pick 10, probably in the 3% range or lower. We could draft in the teens for 20 years and not find a paul george.

    A trade for a harden type (e.g., an early 20s budding superstar) who agrees to a contract extension? Name 1 other trade like that in the past 10 years. The D will and Carmelo trades are turning out to be colossal failures for the nets and Knicks ,respectively. The pau gasol trade is now pretty even due to marc gasol. These types of trades are (a) very rare; (b) demand a steep price; and (c) require a blend of perfect timing and tradeable talent, again, not likely.

    IMO, the easiest way for the cavs to get a foundational piece for a championship in the near future is to roll the dice in this semi loaded draft. This would require a ton of luck, impeccable scouting, tanking, etc., but it is our best shot.

  • Brian

    I’m taking about building a franchise that is built on a culture and attitude of winning, not one that’s a perrenial loser until it gets lucky in the draft with an all-time great. We saw what happened with lebron – he was so good he overcame the loser culture of the cavs org for a few years. The only notable thing since has been dan gilbert having an entourage re – enactment with the wifebeater from knr at the draft lottery.

    Players don’t want to play for or stay with losers. Perception of the cavs is they’re losers. That has to change first, regardless of record.