With their season floundering, the Cleveland Cavaliers needed a major shakeup, and as the NBA Trade Deadline neared on Thursday they did so, trading away Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Dwyane Wade, Iman Shumpert, Jae Crowder, and Derrick Rose in three separate deals that saw them add younger, more athletic players under contract beyond this season. Thomas and Frye were dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers along with their 2018 first round pick for guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr, while Wade will return to the Miami Heat for a heavily protected future second round pick. In a three-team trade, the Cavaliers get swingman Rodney Hood from the Jazz and point guard George Hill from the Kings, with Sacramento adding Shumpert, a 2020 second-round pick from the Cavs (originally from the Heat), three million in cash, and swingman Joe Johnson from the Jazz, while Utah gets Crowder and Rose.

For the Cavaliers, this move is all about getting more athletic and being able to compete this season, but provides the added bonus of having four players under contract for next season who can help form a solid core for the future. The negative is that the Cavs tax bill now jumps to $50 million due to the addition of Hill and Hood. Hill is under contract for $20 million, $19 million and $18 million. There is $1 million in guaranteed money for 2019-20. Hood will be a restricted free agent and has a cap hit of $2.4M.

The trade with the Lakers is their ultimate admission that the trade of Kyrie Irving for Thomas and Crowder was a failure from their perspective, as Thomas missed most of the season recovering from hip surgery, and has been largely ineffective since he returned. But to be able to turn him and Frye, who has largely been a non-factor for the Cavs this year, into Clarkson and Nance, two players under the age of 25 who are both under contract through next season, is a huge win for an older team who needed a youth infusion. Clarkson averages 14.5 points per game on 45 percent shooting. He had been the Lakers’ sixth man, providing instant offense off the bench for much of the season. He leads the NBA with 274 points off the bench since Jan. 1, just ahead of the Clippers’ Lou Williams (270) over that span, according to NBA Advanced Stats. Over the season, only Williams (813) has more bench points than Clarkson (732). Nance averages 8.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. His father was a two-time All-Star for the Cavaliers.

Wade had stated publicly that he had wanted to end his career with the Heat, and the Cavs were able to grant his wish. He had signed a one-year deal with the Cavs and had moved to the second unit after the season started, but his role became less defined over the season, and he was looking at a reduced role moving forward, so he had asked to return to the Heat, and Cleveland was more than willing to do right by him.

While any tax relief the Cavs had given themselves in the Laker deal went out the window by acquiring Hood and Hill, it may very well be worth the cost. Crowder never fit in with the Cavs, while Rose and Shumpert have been hurt most of the season. Now they replace those three with a veteran point guard and solid defender in Hill who gets to leave what became a bad situation for him in Sacramento, who has implemented a strategy of resting two veterans a game to give their young players court time, and Hood, who was averaging a career high 16.8 points a game in his fourth season with the Jazz. Rose is expected to be released by Utah, with the Minnesota Timberwolves likely to pursue a Rose-Tom Thibedeau reunion once finalized.

All things considered, the Cavs are able to shed some major baggage by ridding themselves of Thomas, Rose, and Crowder, while getting more athletic with Clarkson, Nance, Hill, and Hood. Plus they get some stability in players under contract for next season in the event LeBron James leaves them high and dry. Taking on more tax money is never a good thing, but its no surprise they had to do that to help a bad situation, as it seems they just keep adding more money every year when they are in a bad spot. Overall, its been a good day for the Cavaliers, and these moves could be just what they need to right the ship, and ensure a fourth straight finals appearance for their team.

Related Posts:




You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment