With the present lockout and the struggles of many small to mid-market teams, the idea of "contraction" has been popping up occasionally. The concept itself is fairly simple: get rid of teams and consolidate some of the talent in the league to make it more competitive. While I personally don't see this idea coming to fruition, it is possible.
If contraction were on the table the obvious question looms: which teams get contracted? Well the good guys over at Denver Stiffs took on that question and ask NBA bloggers through SBNation to help them out. A representative from each team gave them the reasons why their team should or should not be contracted and it turns out to be a really interesting article. My response and reasoning as to why the Cleveland Cavaliers should stay in the league is after the jump, but I strongly encourage you to go check out the rest of the article as well.
My response regarding the Cavs:
Conrad Kaczmarek from Fear the Sword: The NBA should not contract the Cavaliers because Cleveland has been right at the top of the league in attendance for the past decade. Of course, most of this was because they were perennial championship contenders and had the best player in the league. However, the Cavaliers ranked 3rd in the league in attendance last season despite being really really awful. The game against the Clippers that snapped the 26-game losing streak was a near sell-out and was deafeningly loud as the team closed out the victory. The main argument against the Cavaliers will be that many of the tickets were sold before "The Decision", thus skewing the numbers.
If the evaluation for contraction were to occur right now, you simply cannot assume that the Cleveland is unable to support an NBA team without a winning team. The evidence against the Cavaliers is not recent enough to make such a claim. If the lack of competitiveness is the next few years leads to a significant dip in fan support, then it would make sense to look further into the issue. For now, however, the Cavaliers have shown that the city is certainly able to support the team and the franchise has a dedicated owner in place. Dan Gilbert is willing to spend the money to put together a good basketball team and when he has one, the fans in Cleveland pack the Q to full capacity. In my opinion, that is exact profile that the NBA should be looking for in a small market team.
What do you think? Did I present the Cavaliers case well? What teams, if any, do you think would be likely candidates for contraction?