On Thursday, February 8, the NBA trade came and went; it was the final day for teams to make trades, and it was much more exciting than what was anticipated. Everybody knew that the Cavaliers, in the midst of a slump and as GM Koby Altman described, “A slow death march,” would be looking to make a move or two to upgrade themselves heading into the home stretch of the season. The Cavaliers, however, went ballistic, wheeling and dealing while nearly changing half of their roster. Here’s a breakdown of every Cavalier trade that happened at the deadline.
Cavaliers trade G Isaiah Thomas, F Channing Frye, and their own 2018 first round draft pick to the Lakers in exchange for G Jordan Clarkson and F Larry Nance Jr. The move was the first, not the last, but arguably the biggest trade that went down. Thomas packs his bags after being traded to Cleveland from the Celtics in August, but didn’t play until 2018 due to hip issues. Thomas was acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade, so essentially the Cavaliers traded an All-Pro point guard for two middle of the road players, which is not a great look for the Cavaliers front office, especially as Irving continues to blossom in the Celtics offense under Coach Brad Stevens.
Next, the Cavaliers traded G Iman Shumpert and 2020 second round draft pick to the Kings, trade G Derrick Rose and F Jae Crowder to the Jazz in exchange for G George Hill from the Kings and F Rodney Hood from the Jazz. In Hill and Hood, the Cavaliers are getting two middle of the road players with some league experience. While they don’t have the championship and playoff experience of Shumpert, Rose, and Crowder, Hill and Hood also provide something much needed to the Cavaliers: new faces in the locker room, and chance for Cleveland to hit the reset button before the playoffs.
Last, the Cavaliers traded G Dwyane Wade to the Heat in exchange for a second round pick. While many people are questioning this trade, let it be known that Cavaliers star LeBron James did approve the trade before it was made. Wade, who is 36 years old, is at the end of what has been a Hall of Fame career. Wade was probably happy that he got traded back to Miami, his old stomping grounds where everything got started, rather than riding the bench in snowy Cleveland, Ohio. The second round pick will probably be nothing or get turned around and traded later, so it doesn’t add much to the Cavaliers.
With the trade deadline behind us, all we and the Cavaliers can do is look forward. With two months to go in the regular season, the Cavaliers still have time to figure things out; they don’t have to hit the panic button just yet. Hopefully all these deadline deals do what they’re what their supposed to do: change the locker room culture and turn around a team that has been nothing short of horrible lately.