Cavaliers veteran spills the beans on 'disconnected' locker room

Cleveland Cavaliers buyout addition Marcus Morris, Sr. gave an unheard insight on a disgruntled and lost locker room in the postseason.
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game One
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game One / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Following their playoff loss to the Boston Celtics, the Cleveland Cavaliers opted for a change in leadership, firing four-year head coach J.B. Bickerstaff earlier this month.

At the following press conference, Cavs President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman expressed a thankful attitude toward Bickerstaff's years with the organization. He said the team simply believed they needed a new perspective in leadership to elevate the team to the next level. Bickerstaff brought the rebuilding Cavaliers to two playoff appearances in four-and-a-half years, but his offensive gameplans often grew stagnant and could leave the team disjointed on that end of the court.

The Cavaliers position was Bickerstaff's first head coaching role after time as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets and Cleveland. He seceeded a notoriously poor coach in Cavs history, John Beilein who was fired after just 54 games with the franchise. Given the circumstances and state of the team Bickerstaff led, his tenure can be considered nothing other than a success. While the Cavaliers were clearly ready for a new coach, Bickerstaff managed a redundant and log-jammed roster to success much higher than anticipated.

Following his dismissal, the Cavs have begun their search for the next head coach with three names rising to the top of the rumor mill. The Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Wizards are also looking for a new coach, but Cleveland's loyalty to Bickerstaff and their rising chances to contend in the Eastern Conference should make them the marquee destination for any head coach looking to win in the postseason.

Marcus Morris, Sr. says Cavaliers locker room as 'disconnected' this season

By the time the Cavs' season ended, the attitude of the team seemingly shifted downward. Once they were eliminated by Boston, reports released surrounding the team's failing chemistry and questions about the core four's long-term fit. The following day, Donovan Mitchell took to Twitter (X) to express his happiness in Cleveland, dispelling rumors he had grown frustrated with his teammates. He later spoke to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN to relay his joy to be a Cavalier to the world.

Still, according to veteran forward Marcus Morris, Sr., the Cavs' locker room faced plenty of discontent by the end. In an interview with Run It Back, Morris openly expressed his perspective that Bickerstaff had run his course with the Cavaliers, and the locker room was disconnected.

After the trade deadline closed, Morris joined the buyout market following an agreement with the San Antonio Spurs in late February. Shortly thereafter, Morris joined the Cavaliers. Though he did not play much in the regular season, he became a postseason hero amid Dean Wade's injury and Georges Niang's struggles to impact winning in the playoffs. In nine playoff games, Morris averaged 6.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 39.1 percent from deep in 15.3 minutes per game.

The veteran forward noted that Bickerstaff still had the locker room, but it felt that it was time to move on. He expressed a favorable view of Bickerstaff as a man and coach, suggesting the Cavaliers just needed a fresh voice. With his short time in Cleveland, he could not confidently state anything certainty, but he was surprised by how players responded to feedback from Bickerstaff.

Morris will join the free agent pool this summer and could return to the Cavaliers after his strong output in the postseason. His physicality and determined shooting gave Cleveland a much-needed lift when they looked defeated. If he does not re-sign, his time at very least showcases the kind of players the Cavaliers must emphasize adding. Experienced forwards who can shoot and absorb contact on defense and the boards is one of the largest missing elements in the team's path to the Finals.

While Marcus' words reiterate how the Cleveland Cavaliers lost something in the team morale this year, he also offers a positive outlook on the future. He did not say the team was at each other's throats or wanting to relive the Draymond Green-Jordan Poole incident. With Darius Garland's possible trade request and the log jam in the starting frontcourt, the players might have recognized their limitations as a unit. The time for changes has arrived in Cleveland, and the change in coach is the first step toward a more cohesive and competitive Cavaliers next season.

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