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Cavs Emerge as Deadline Winners

Cleveland Cavaliers Leave NBA Trade Deadline as Biggest Winners

For sports fans, Trade Deadline Day is a holiday.

Refresh Twitter and a star is moved. Refresh it again and there is everyone’s favourite NBA analyst Adrian Wojnarowski breaking down the latest moves from around the league. Stars are on the move, role players are being swapped, draft picks are being thrown around, things are happening.

Us NBA fans? Well, we’re pumped! We’re excited!

In a way, things were different this season.

Big moves were made days before the deadline, leaving the final 24 hours to be fairly quiet for the most part. That is unless you are the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have come away from the deadline as really, one of the only real winners. On the surface, it’s fairly simply to see what General Manage Koby Altman and the Cavs front office has done. They have gotten younger, more athletic and have achieved all this without conceding the prized 2018 Brooklyn Nets first-round pick – the biggest gem on the trade market.

But from another perspective, the Cavaliers were also cleaning up the mess they originally created.

The Cavaliers entered the season with the oldest roster in the league, attempting to make yet another deep run in the playoffs. With that in mind, everyone knew that the minutes were going to be taxing, the injuries would pile up, and the effort level throughout a long season will not always be there.

What followed was far worse than expected.

Injuries were an issue right from the get go. Team chemistry was in shatters. Upon Isaiah Thomas’ return, it was clear from the start that it was just not meant to be. The Cavaliers defense plummeted, the disdain for one another was openly visible from every television screen, and the losses kept piling up. A change was necessary, or yet another chance at a Finals berth may fade away quick.

At the deadline no team had a more insurmountable task than the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers first acquired guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance from the Los Angeles Lakers for a first-round pick, Channing Frye, and Thomas. They then traded for George Hill and swingman Rodney Hood, moving on from Iman Shumpert, Jae Crowder, and a second-round pick, which they would receive for moving veteran Dwyane Wade back to the Miami Heat.

With the trades, the Cavs moved on from their older players, veterans still recovering from injury, and most of all, have done some cleaning up in the locker room with hope of putting out a better, more solidified unit. The team is younger and more athletic, yet in the grand scope of things, the Cavs essentially flipped Kyrie Irving for Jordan Clarkson in their back court.

 

 

So are the Cavaliers a better team than they were back in last year’s playoffs? No, not by a long shot, but what the Cavs did do is at least for the moment stabilize their situation. Management has shown that they are invested in winning by bringing in new pieces and with it, the Cavs look like a stronger team than they did 24-hours ago.

It is unknown if this puts them on top of the Boston Celtics or the Toronto Raptors, but of course in the playoffs, a team with LeBron James can never be counted out and now, the Cavs look deemed and ready for the final stretch!

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