Report: Cavs beset by LeBron's 'adversarial relationship' with management, owner
What's wrong with the Cleveland Cavaliers?
While legitimate issues, their struggles cannot be chalked up to the fact some players don't like each other, nor their lack of trust. Instead, the main problem plaguing the Cavaliers is tension between their star player and management, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
"The biggest issue that we have that's hanging over the team right now is the adversarial relationship that's developed between LeBron James and the front office and ownership of this team. They have a trade deadline coming up in five days and LeBron is very frustrated that he has sat here and watched a bunch of star players get traded since the end of the Finals," Windhorst said Saturday on SportsCenter.
The Cavaliers were believed to be in the mix for more than half those players, but ultimately lost out. They're still rumored to be interested in trade candidates - including DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams of the Clippers - but are reportedly unwilling to surrender their most coveted asset - the Nets' 2018 first-round pick.
"The Cavs organization is looking at LeBron and saying 'We have a hard time making a change in this roster, or trading major pieces, or spending a lot more money when you won't commit to us for the future," Windhorst said.
James, 33, is averaging 22.5 points on 48.7 percent shooting from the field and 22.1 percent from long range, to go along with 7.7 assists and 7.5 rebounds over the last 18 games - production which, while better than that of most players, are below his regular standard.
The four-time MVP's expected to decline his $35.6-million player option after the season to become an unrestricted free agent. Cleveland sits third in the East at 30-21, with just a half-game lead over the Wizards.