Cleveland Cavaliers' aggressive trade deadline deals show potential for success after midseason struggles

The Cleveland Cavaliers made some major trades on Thursday. (photo via @cavs Instagram)


This is some craziness.

The NBA’s trade deadline was set for 3 p.m. on Thursday, meaning teams had to decide on trade scenarios before that time. Well, the Cleveland Cavaliers were prepared to make wholesale changes.

The Cavs traded six players and received four at the deadline, making three separate deals that involve the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, Miami Heat and Sacramento Kings.

Deal No. 1: The Cavs traded Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and their own first-round draft pick to the Lakers. They receive Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. The Cavs will keep the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick, which they earned in a trade with the Boston Celtics.

Deal No. 2: This was a three-team trade in which the Cavs traded Iman Shumpert to the Kings, receiving guard George Hill in return. The Cavs also dealt Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to the Jazz and received Rodney Hood. Jazz forward Joe Johnson was traded to the Kings. The Jazz are planning on waiving Rose.

Deal No. 3: The Cavs traded Dwyane Wade to the Miami Heat, receiving a protected second-round draft pick.

Well, it was just the kind of craziness that the Cavs need.

For a team that has won six of their last 15 games, for a team that has struggled to play well defensively and for a team whose players were an average age of 30 at the beginning of the season, drastic, yet potentially rewarding changes were inevitable — and they were necessary.

After a meeting during late January that reportedly consisted of players calling out Kevin Love for leaving early during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team’s problems were on display.

During the meeting Thomas, who only played 15 games for the Cavs because he was coming off a hip injury, was reportedly one of the players who called out Love for leaving early. Thomas denied calling out Love, but he did say that he asked Love why he did not return to support the team. Further, Thomas said that he did not have any “bad blood” with Love.

After the Cavs lost to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday, Thomas spoke of how the team does not play together on defense. He also said that the Cavs struggle to make in-game adjustments,which was an apparent dig at coach Tyronn Lue.

January was horrid for the Cavs, and with February still in its early days, the Cavs made improvements with the trades. Something needed to happen, particularly because of the Cavs’ apparent lack of team chemistry.

Receiving Clarkson, Nance and Hood adds youth to the Cavs — they are all 25 years old. Hill, 31, is a veteran, but he is serviceable. He is averaging 10.3 points per game this season, and he is able to lead an offense if necessary. What is important, though, is that Hill will probably play more without the ball. LeBron James needs to be in control of the offense most of the time, which means he holds ball-handling responsibilities.

The Cavs shocked the NBA and its fans Thursday with their aggressive, yet potentially rewarding approach to the deadline.

But for a team that likely has one more shot at another title, craziness needed to happen.


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