THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS ARE OWNING THE TRADE DEADLINE. Simply put, the Cavaliers completely blew up their team. They have traded everyone they signed/traded for this summer and starting completely over. Is this enough to get LeBron to stay? Who knows, but breaking down each trade and why it is good for the Cavaliers and other parties involved is what is to follow.
Cavaliers Get: Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.
Lakers Get: Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, 2018 Cavaliers 1st Round Pick
Why Cleveland wins:
ISAIAH THOMAS IS GONE. This sounds brutal, but ever since returning it became very clear that he was not a fit in Cleveland. He was too ball dominant, not fully back with his hip, and statistically the worst point guard in the league. Not to mention it is pretty clear that he did not fit in the locker room. They get younger and more athletic (recurring theme) in Clarkson and Nance Jr. providing better defensive ability. Clarkson fits into the 6th man role he played in LA and will be the focal point of the second unit. Nance Jr. is an athletic freak and can guard multiple positions.
Why Lakers Win:
SO MUCH CAP SPACE. This trade allowed for the Lakers to sign multiple big free agent contracts (Paul George and LeBron) and they get a first round pick that they did not have. The Cavaliers directly helped the Lakers clear the path for LeBron to become part of the Lakers, but who knows if that actually happens this summer.
Cavaliers Get: Rodney Hood and George Hill
Jazz Get: Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose (seeking buyout) 2020 Second Round Pick via Miami
Kings Get: Iman Shumpert and Joe Johnson (seeking buyout)
Cleveland is the only team that really wins this deal. The Kings are trying to tank so they don’t matter in this deal. Utah gets rid of Rodney Hood which they wanted to do. Cleveland gets younger and more athletic in Hood. He is a good scorer on the wing and more athletic than the guys they had on their roster providing better ability defensively for their playoff hopes. George Hill is an upgrade defensively at point guard and doesn’t have to dominate the ball to be on the floor which is good for a LeBron team.
Cavaliers Get: 2020 protected second round pick
Heat Get: DWYANE WADE
DWYANE WADE IS ON HIS WAY BACK TO SOUTH BEACH. He is the biggest winner of this trade. He gets to go to a team where he will get more minutes and play a role similar that he is used to. Wade is a Hall of Fame player and beloved in Miami. With the other moved Cleveland made, Wade was not going to fit into this roster based on the fact that he is the old man out.
This has been absolutely an insane trade deadline for the city of Cleveland. They made the moves they needed to make to take control of the team from being under the LeBron umbrella, as well as showing LeBron that they are committed to getting younger and setting themselves up to be a better defensive team. They held on to the Brooklyn pick in order to continue on the right direction without having to hit the reset button completely if LeBron leaves this summer.
The Cavaliers did what they had to do to compete now and in the future. By making these moves today, they avoid completely bottoming out like they did in 2010. If LeBron leaves this time, he cannot blame the front office for not making the moves necessary to build a contender in the east. Instead of trading for old veterans they got younger and made moves that fit today’s NBA game. Will it work? Only time will tell, but the Cavs are coming out of the east again this season.