Few NBA general managers have ascended to a position as a team's chief decision-maker under more trying circumstances than Cleveland's Chris Grant. One look at his transaction log tells the story: Grant's first transaction was the one that sent the best player in Cavaliers history -- local legend LeBron James -- to the Miami Heat in a sign-and-trade deal that netted a bevy of draft picks. In Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller, Anthony Bennett and Sergey Karasev, Grant's roster featured six potential rotation players with two years of experience or less, including Irving, who seemed poised to establish himself as a first-tier star in the NBA.
With a smattering of veterans peppered into the mix and the return of the franchise's most successful head coach, Mike Brown, Cleveland seemed a fair bet to be one of the season's breakout teams. That's where things stood at the outset of the campaign. Since then, the Cavaliers have done nothing but backpedal from what seemed like a possible path to eventual championship contention.