Dysfunction, trade rumors dominate dreadful day for Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Once, thought to be trending upward earlier in the season, the Cleveland Cavaliers now find themselves droning in rumors of trades and dysfunction.

Rumors of dysfunction and trades dominated the day for Cleveland Cavaliers, who actually had to play a game against the Orlando Magic, losing 93-87 at Rocket Mortgage Field House Friday night.

It was surprising Cleveland played hard enough to fight the Magic all game, considering the bombshell report (subscription) from The Athletic that the team was tuning out John Beilein, who was just 20 games into his NBA head coaching career.

Pior to tip, the five-year rumor involving the trade of Kevin Love popped up again, with none other than Adrian Wojnarkowski Tweeting that Cleveland was open to trading their four-time All-Star.

Then, the team went on to beat a Magic team that had wiped the floor with the Cavaliers in the two other occasions the team had met this season, with Love not in the lineup because of an injury.

Here’s where it took off: Earlier Friday, a report filled with anonymous sources, written by Joe Vardon and Shams Charania  quote a player who said guys were drowning out Beilein’s voice:

"“Guys drowned out his voice, and when guys start searching for the next in line for help, I believe you’ve lost them,” the player told The Athletic."

While no one went on the record, the report indicated that there are multiple players who feel Beilein’s college style isn’t right for the NBA.

"“Veterans and younger players, from all corners of the roster, are frustrated with what they see as the pitfalls of a college environment Beilein brought with him,” the report said. “When the Cavs were 4-5, players viewed some of these things as quirks of a coach with a different approach.”"

For what it’s worth, SI.com Cavs’ writer Sam Amico seemed surprised by the report, writing that the feeling in the locker room during the season has been “tight-knit.”

Larry Nance Jr, a player having a career year who has added the 3-point-ball to his arsenal, was the only player to go on the record defending Beilein.

"“Ideally, you’d like to keep those things in house, if there was those issues. But that’s today’s NBA. … I’ve never had an issue with a coach in my career. This one being no different. I wanted to play for him at Michigan to be honest with you.”"

The Cavs have a lot of youth on the squad, but also some veterans, so you do wonder where this noise is coming from. If it’s the youth, it’s a problem, because Beilein was to be the man to build a bridge between himself and the teenagers/players in their early 20s.

If it’s the veterans, the Cavs have to ship them out here because this organization will never to able to sustain any kind of culture if the players don’t respect the coach.

Get this: Even Beilein’s terminology bothers some of the players, as the The Athletic continued:

"“For instance, all of the team’s screens, cuts, and pivots are named after wild animals. A curl is a ‘polar bear’ in Beilein’s system.”‘You don’t go pro to do that kind of thing,’  one league source said.”"

I won’t doubt the talent of the players on the roster, they’ve beat long odds to make it to the NBA, but save Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love (both with the help of LeBron James), what has anyone done on this roster that they believe they’re in a position to sandbag a coach who’s 20 games into his career?

He’s not just a coach either. Beilein may be new to the NBA, but he’s accomplished in the game of basketball. To begin the disrespect this early is a bad look for a Cavalier team that is already way too hard to watch.

LeBron did it to David Blatt. But LeBron’s star shines the brightest in a superstar league.

As for the trade rumors, it’s news because it comes from Woj, but how many times is Kevin Love going to be traded until he’s actually traded.

Even though he’s signed an extension, I do believe the Cavs are willing to listen to offers, because, why wouldn’t they. Kevin Love won’t be on this team the next time they’re relevant. It doesn’t hurt to see what’s out that.

With that in mind, the Cavs probably have an idea of what they’d like for a big man who can stretch floor. He could legitimately help get a contending team over the top. If that’s the case, you’d like to have your asking price met.

If no team meets your asking price, then no skin off the Cavs’ back. Love can stay. He’s a tie to the championship team and a good basketball player.

Next. 4 TEs the Browns should target in draft, free agency for 2020. dark

Rumors involving Tristan Thompson and Jordan Clarkson kicked off the most speculation mongering, and I get the feeling that those two will be dealt long before Love.