The Cleveland Cavaliers have experienced ups and downs throughout the 2023-24 NBA season. Having said that, there has been more good than bad through the first part of the campaign, resulting in a 15-12 record through 27 games — good enough for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
While there are still many games left to be played, it looks like general manager Mike Gansey's offseason decisions are paying off. Sometimes teams must say goodbye to players to remain competitive. Unfortunately, a fresh start doesn't always work out for the individuals sent packing.
Here's a look at three former Cavaliers who are struggling with their new teams during the 2023-24 season.
1. Robin Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks
After spending the 2022-23 campaign with the Cavaliers, veteran center Robin Lopez signed a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks over the offseason. While the 35-year-old likely joined the Bucks in search of his first-ever NBA ring, the move also reunited him with twin brother Brook for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign.
While Lopez was a starter for the better part of his career, his Milwaukee stint has shown that he's nothing more than a bench filler at this stage. He's only played about three minutes per appearance across seven games with the Bucks, averaging less than a point and a rebound. He's only attempted four shots all year, too, missing three of them.
Lopez also had a reputation for being a solid defender, but his 121 defensive rating per 100 possessions shows that's no longer the case. He's typically only seen playing time at the end of blowout wins, but things could get messy if he's forced to play bigger minutes in the event of an injury.
Again, Lopez likely knows that his career is winding down and this could be his last chance to win a ring with his brother. Nevertheless, he must step up if he wants to turn that dream into reality.