The NBA trade deadline has come and gone with several trades to talk about. Going into the final day of trade talks, there wasn’t much anticipation for a busy day due to the fact that many teams are being very cautious with taking on additional salary. Many of the teams were expected to just sit tight and hope for a strong post-deadline pool of free agents.
Did The Lakers Just Show They’re After LeBron?
The LA Lakers sent Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a protected 2018 draft pick. Now, on paper, that may seem just like a normal everyday trade but if you think deeper into it, the Lakers may have just showed their hand as far as going after LeBron James in the offseason and helped clear cap space in the process so they can afford him.
The Cavaliers fans were not happy with Thomas and most of that is uncalled for. It is hard to put the Cavaliers struggles on one player, especially when that one player isn’t their leader and isn’t going to go out and win you many games. Thomas is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year so for the Lakers, they just completely dumped a ton of salary cap room.
The Cavaliers took on the salary of Clarkson and Nance but for this year, it may actually help them out. Clarkson is averaging 14.5 points per game and served as an insurance policy for the Lakers with Lonzo Ball being out with injury. Even when Ball was in the game, Clarkson served as the sixth man, coming off the bench and putting numbers on the board.
Nance will be happy in Cleveland as his father played there from 1988 to 1994 and Nance was born in LeBron’s town of Akron, Ohio. The Cavaliers have aged drastically over the past 18 months but this is a good sign as both Nance and Clarkson are 25 years old and give the team a little more depth.
Cavaliers Very Active With Trades
In addition to obtaining Nance and Clarkson, the Cleveland Cavaliers stayed active, trading for George Hill in a three way trade with Utah and Sacramento. The Cavaliers sent Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder to the Utah Jazz and sent Iman Shumpert to the Sacramento Kings. In exchange, the Utah Jazz sent Rodney Hood to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Joe Johnson to the Sacramento Kings. The Kings then sent Hill to the Cavaliers to round out the three way trade.
The Cavaliers then sent Dwayne Wade home to Miami Heat for a 2nd round protected pick. No one ever thought they would see this happen as Wade and Pat Riley have been less than friendly over some issues they had but sources close to the situation have reported that the two have made up and resolved their differences at Wade’s former agent Henry Thomas funeral. This has completely changed the look of the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have by far been the most active team during the final day of the trade deadline and look to be getting younger and making strides to compete.
A side note to this trade is the fact that Joe Johnson has stated that he will seek a buyout from the Sacramento Kings. This has not been confirmed but reliable sources are indicating he will ask for the buyout.
Pistons Stay Busy With Trades!
The Detroit Pistons stayed active prior to the trade deadline sending Willie Reed to the Chicago Bulls for Jameer Nelson. Nelson had just arrived in Chicago after being part of the Bulls trade with the New Orleans Pelicans for Nikola Mirotic. Nelson appeared in 43 games coming off the bench for the pelicans prior to being traded to the Chicago Bulls on February 1. He was averaging nearly 5 points per game and was mainly used spread the ball around to Anthony Davis and “Boogie” Cousins. Nelson is a 14 year NBA veteran that is a strong three-point shooter.
Reed will bring some dramatic baggage with him when he arrives in Chicago. Reed was suspended on Tuesday for 6 games stemming from a domestic violence incident that occurred earlier this year. This will be reads 3rd team he has played for in less than 2 weeks, as he was originally traded to Detroit from the LA Clippers and part of the Blake Griffin deal.In addition to Nelson and Reed, both teams will swap 2022 2nd round draft picks.
Other Notable Trades
*Toronto Raptors sent Bruno Caboclo to Sacramento Kings for Malachi Richardson
*Memphis Grizzlies sent James Ennis to the Detroit Pistons for Brice Johnson
*Orlando Magic sent Elfrid Payton to the Phoenix Suns for a 2018 2nd rd draft pick
*Washington Wizards sent Sheldon Mac to the Atlanta Hawks for unreported pick
*New Orleans Pelicans sent Dante Cunningham to Brooklyn Nets for Rashad Vaughn
*Chicago Bulls sent Milovan Rakovic to the Portland Trail Blazers for Noah Vonleh