And yet they retain JR Smith and Tristan Thompson? What were the Cavs thinking?
The Cleveland Cavaliers have entered this season with a lot of potentials and hope despite losing to the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals and, losing Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in a trade that sent Isaiah Thomas to the Cavs to become LeBron James' newest point guard. The Cavs also got Derrick Rose who signed a 1-year deal contract and of course, the King's best pal, Dwayne Wade. On paper, this would have been capable of ruling the Eastern Conference anew.
But things weren't going as smoothly as planned.
Since Christmas Day 2017, the Cavs have been most of their games. They are playing horrible defense that in a stretch of 5 games, they gave up 122 points per game. Kevin Love is out again. Derrick Rose has missed a big chunk of the season due to injury and personal matters. And Isaiah Thomas hasn't been his former Celtic self even though he has recovered from his injury which kept him out during the first few months of the 2017-2018 season.
During the course of the past weeks heading into the trade deadline, two names from Cleveland have been repeatedly included in the trade talks: JR Smith and Tristan Thompson. Apparently, the Cavs have offered these two to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Lou Williams and DeAndre Jordan. Unfortunately, Lou Williams has signed a 3-year extension with the Clippers so he's off the books for now.
In a surprising move, the Cavs have finally pulled the trigger with barely hours before the trade deadline. Who went where? Below are the basics:
The Cavs lost:
- Dwayne Wade
- Derrick Rose
- Jae Crowder
- Isaiah Thomas
- Channing Frye
- Iman Shumpert
The Cavs received:
- Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. from the Los Angeles Lakers
- Rodney Hood from the Utah Jazz
- George Hill from the Sacramento Kings
The Cavs have traded 6 players, mostly their new acquisitions prior to the start of the season with the exception of Frye and Shumpert. On a slightly positive note, the Cavs did get JC6 from the Lakers and he's someone who can provide more reinforcement off the bench. George Hill can provide more stability off the bench while Rodney Hood can provide more points alongside Clarkson.
But why did the Cavs retain JR Smith and Tristan Thompson?
The answer to that is simple: The Cavs probably knew that no team will accept the burden of paying a big amount of cash for these two players. Sure, JR Smith scored 20 points in the Cavs' overtime victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves but he has been nowhere near consistent this season as he is only averaging 8 points as a starter for Tyronn Lue.
Everyone is probably wondering what will happen come the Cavs' first practice after this series of trades. Like it or not, Tyronn Lue will have a hard time getting the team together considering the number of players that they've lost.
Will these deals help the Cavs? Yes and no.
Why? It will take time before the Cavs settle down with their new players on board and with Kevin Love out again, expect the Cavs to lose most of their upcoming games. But fortunately for the Cavs, they still have LeBron James, for now.