The NBA trade deadline is one of the most exciting times during the NBA season, you never know what will happen and who will get traded. We have already experienced some crazy trades during the off-season with Kyrie Irving to the Celtics, Paul George to the Thunder bringing Carmelo Anthony along with him.
Besides the Blake Griffin trade last month there have not been many trades during this season until just before noon. When at 11:56 a.m. the Cleveland Cavaliers shook things up by trading away Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a protected first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr (Born in Akron Ohio). Then the floodgates were open, the Cavs were not done as they would trade away four more players to get younger, athletic and add more shooting to their team.
After the trade for Clarkson and Nance, the Cavaliers constructed a three-team deal with the Utah Jazz and the Sacramento Kings. The trade sent three-point threat Rodney Hood and George Hill to the Cavs and saw Iman Shumpert go to the Kings, while Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder will go to the Jazz.
The most recent trade for the Cavs was sending LeBron’s best friend Dwyane Wade back to his former team the Miami Heat. The move was a more significant gain for Miami and their fans as they only sent back a 2020 protected second-round pick which will be sent off to the Sacramento Kings.
At the Beginning of the season, the Cavs looked to be prepared for their fourth match-up with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. Yes, they traded away Kyrie Irving, but they got back some great players in Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder plus the additions of Wade, and Derrick Rose seemed to be enough.
The East has not been as easy as many thought it would be, the Boston Celtics have flourished without their big free agent signing Gordon Hayward. The Raptors are playing great basketball and look like a significant threat to the Cavs continued success. While the Cavs, on the other hand, started out hot with a 13 game win streak. But within the last month have been terrible on defense and have gone 5-5 in their previous 10 games with many of the losses being blowouts.
It was clear Thomas has not reached maximum health from his back injury, and his outspoken attitude may have been a turnoff to many in the organization including King James. Many expected the Cavs to try and make a move for Deandre Jordan or Kemba Walker deals that can still be done within the hour, but no one expected this.
They traded away six players who were not making an impact on winning for four players who will help them immediately. In Clarkson, they get a young guard who can create his own shot averaging 14.4 points per game on 44% shooting from the field. He needs to improve on his three-point shooting, but with LeBron creating distractions he will be more open to hit threes. Nance gives them another athletic big to pair with Tristan Thompson (or DeAndre Jordan) to get after rebounds, play defense and provide some mid-range shooting that they lost with Kevin Love’s injury.
In Rodney Hood, they get another great shooter who has developed into a good scorer in the NBA averaging 16.8 points a game shooting 43% from the field and 39% from three. George Hill brings a veteran presence to a now much younger team. Hill has seen the playoffs with many teams from the Spurs, Pacers and even the Jazz last season. On a young team in Sacramento Hill was more of a scorer than a facilitator, as he was shooting 46% from the field and 42% from three. He becomes the immediate starting point guard and will help take the ball out of LeBron’s hand when he is facing double teams.
Who knows what else the Cavs have under their sleeves with less than an hour left for the trade deadline. They can pick up another veteran player after the deadline when teams buyout certain players. But one thing is for sure the Cavs got much younger and much better today for now and maybe for the future.