Cavaliers trading Isaiah Thomas to Lakers

LeBron James

The Cavaliers take on the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

Thomas and Crowder never really fit the team.

In reaction to the Cavaliers' ongoing struggles through January and February, Cleveland was unprecedentedly active at the National Basketball Association trade deadline Thursday, shipping away six veteran players in three separate trades, including Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder and Derek Rose.

The Cavs' acquisition of Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. - two young and athletic cagers - for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and a 2018 protected first-round pick drew the most buzz. What resulted was three trades, involving five teams, 11 players and two draft picks.

On paper, the Cavs look better. I don't know, we'll see. "I like the pieces that we have coming in..."

But what does the midseason shakeup mean for James, who is expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer?

But that was just the beginning of the Cavs' roster transformation. "I definitely wish all six guys the best".

The Cavaliers have been in a freefall, losing 13 of 20 games since Christmas Day and getting blown out on national TV several times. But as far as on the court, the Cavs upgraded across the board with more athleticism. The Cavs sent Rose, who has also been slowed by injury, and forward Jae Crowder to the Jazz for forward Rodney Hood.

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade talks with coach Erik Spoelstra. The Heat defeated the Bucks 91-85
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade talks with coach Erik Spoelstra. The Heat defeated the Bucks 91-85

Thursday's trades were out of necessity and desperation for Cleveland.

But one of the not so talked about sides of the trade deadline is what kind of luxury tax trouble they are in with the roster they have now. I think he's excited and rejuvenated and has some new tools to use. I feel like they made some good moves. "You know, being out seven months is hard for anybody". The oldest team in the league simply got younger and talented youth is something that they lacked. But he's a defensive liability on a defensively challenged team and the Cavs felt it was best to move him. So long, in fact, that a small $10 bet would get you back $120. Nance will play meaningful minutes at both forward and center as Kevin Love is sidelined with a broken hand for the next eight weeks.

While Altman's main objective was to fix Cleveland's culture, he also wanted to spark James, who hasn't been himself in recent weeks.

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"Absolutely why we chose to do what we did now", Altman said. "In L.A. right now and his future, I want him to get that bounce back, get that spring back". "Then just kind of go from there". As I mentioned, the Lakers needed more cap space (although they could have made it work differently had they not traded with Cleveland).

He doesn't have any doubts now. "His most recent blast - a suggestion after Tuesday's loss to Orlando that the Cavs' coaching staff didn't make enough in-game adjustments this season".

James gets the next one.



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