Colin Cowherd shares his theory on why the Cavaliers struggle in January

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Colin Cowherd talks LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Should Dan Gilbert take more action to keep 'The King' happy?

- So I'm going to throw this out there, Christine. We talked about this yesterday. I don't know why today I'm in a theory mood. I've got a theory about Drew Brees. I've got a theory about Big Ben.

- You had a theory that you're Steve Jobs a little while ago.

- Well, without the brains power, without the cerebral mechanisms. But yesterday we got into this discussion. And it was there's a pattern now. We have a precedent. Three, four straight years, in January, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been utterly dysfunctional and bad. You think things are bad now, they were worse last January. And so this story came out two days ago, Cavalier players sent anonymous message to front office, we need help.

So I'm thinking to myself yesterday, I'm like, I can't quite wrap my brain around it. What is it about January? Is it a post-Christmas thing? Is it a-- Think about this. They're not just bad. What happens in February in the NBA that's a crucial time for LeBron James especially? The trading deadline.

So here's what's happened the last three years in January for Cleveland. It does you no good if you're bad two days before the trading deadline. You've got to really stink for about three weeks, allowing your ownership and your front office to make deals. Now I'm in no way saying the Cavaliers are tanking, kind of. What I'm saying is, why do you think the Cavaliers are so utterly-- they've gone to the finals seven straight years. We know it ain't a talent thing. We know it's not a talent thing. We know the East is terrible. For seven straight years and for four in Cleveland, they've been utterly dysfunctional in January for the entire month. Why?

Because the trading deadline is in February. And I'll give you an interesting stat. Are they tanking? They're giving you less effort. What they're doing is they're showing ownership in the front office we need more players. We're not there. We've got the wrong coach. Why of all the months would Lebron and the Cavs, the last four years tank in January? What would it be? Ate too much stuffing at Thanksgiving? Got too many Christmas presents? Have a hangover? No. They're sending a message to Dan Gilbert. And right now the message is, OK, we don't want to be humiliated again by Golden State. And none of us benefit from that number one first round pick you have. Get rid of the pick and get us the Paul George, a DeAndre Jordan, or an elite player.

Kevin Love doesn't give a rip about that number one pick. LeBron doesn't care about that number one pick. Isaiah Thomas doesn't care about that number one pick. That's a 18-year-old kid right now playing somewhere, you know, in the ACC. They're know, going to be a-- you're not going to be a playoff factor for five years.

So you say, Colin, are they tanking? No. They're not tanking. But here's an interesting number from Vegas. They're 15 and 5 at home. Right? But why are they only 3, 16 and 1 against the spread at home? They win but don't give you a great effort in January. I believe this anonymous barrage, which came to the market yesterday, and this like three week of absolute garbage basketball-- isn't it interesting that when they played Golden State they rise to the moment? They don't want to be humiliated psychologically or optically by the best team in the league. So they rise to Golden State. Clearly, they can play the Warriors tight and want to exhibit to everybody we're close. We're not as good as them but we can play them. Yet they lose to Toronto by 30. It's messaging.

I don't think it's a coincidence that suddenly-- I mean they did everything in the last three weeks shy of putting a classified ad out in the newspaper. I mean, seriously, three time NBA champ seeking player to join him for a trip to Oakland in June. Must love rings and passing. Long distance shooting a plus. Must not be Carmelo Anthony. I mean they did everything shy of an ad on Craigslist.

This is what's happening here. This is why January is the tank month for them. Because February 8th is the NBA trading deadline. And they, by the way, they don't leak two days out. They leak to the media three weeks before the trading deadline. They want to go completely sideways and look even more chaotic than they are to give the front office time to make a deal.

It's not necessarily tanking but it's messaging. That's like a better version. They're winning at home but they don't look good winning at home and don't cover the spread. Instead of tanking, it's intentionally being underwhelming. By the way, it's--

- What a great business practice.

- By the way, it's what-- you ever had a roommate that's a slob? And what do you do to the roommate when they're a slob? You leave a bunch of dishes in the sink. The message is your turn to clean the house. That's what they're doing to Dan Gilbert. They're leaving dishes in the sink. Hey Dan! Dan, we need a little cleanup help from you, not the number one pick. We're out of time. Peter King next in L.A. This is [INAUDIBLE].