Bucking Broncho: The NBA Trading Places
Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) drives past Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
The NBA Trade Deadline is one day each year where teams determine what direction they will take the rest of the season. Some NBA teams make moves to try to make a championship run and others trying to tank for the draft.
This year is no different with teams like the Cavaliers close to trading their whole roster and the Lakers trading to create cap space for the upcoming offseason. NBA teams have different motivations going into the trade deadline, but they don’t always get what they expected and learn that sometimes you win some and you lose some.
— Eli Mooneyham (@Eli_Mooneyham) February 8, 2018
Win Now Lose Later: The Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs made the most noise on the trade deadline, acquiring Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., George Hill and a second round pick. In exchange, Cleveland traded away Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder, Dwyane Wade, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye and Isaiah Thomas.
The Cavs became a better basketball team over the deadline, despite trading Thomas. This new core of guards are all better shooters than the old cast was and that’s what LeBron James needed to help provide space for him.
Cleveland losing a go-to scorer in Thomas can hurt in moments, but the Cavs already have two go-to scoring options with James and Kevin Love when he comes back from injury. The Cavs have already shown major improvement in one game, with the new cast beating the Celtics 121-99.
The new-look Cavs took it the Celtics. pic.twitter.com/xEKX6xYTMF
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 11, 2018
The new additions give the Cavs the shooters for the small ball lineup they need to win their fourth straight Eastern Conference Finals. The trades they made make everything good this year, but not for the future.
Hood and Nance will both become restricted free agents in the offseason and look to be paid a high amount. The Cavs also took in Hill, who makes $37 million the next two seasons, while Clarkson will make around $25 million.
Cleveland is already in the luxury tax and has the second highest salary in the league at $137 million. If James leaves, they are stuck with all these expensive pieces and no superstar.
Winner for Losing: The Sacramento Kings
Kings General Manager Vlade Divac finally won an NBA trade by giving up Hill, who he signed this summer on a three year contract worth $54 million. The signing didn’t make much sense in the summer because the Kings had just drafted point guard De’Aron Fox fifth overall, but Divac righted his wrong when he traded away Hill in return for Iman Shumpert and Joe Johnson, who was bought out to clear cap space.
This move proved vital for the Kings future with the team having no chance to make the playoffs and worsened the team, giving them a better chance in the NBA draft lottery. The Kings traded Malachi Richardson for Bruno Caboclo, who is on the last year of his contract.
Sacramento’s trades during the deadline opened up over $12 million dollars in cap space for this summer. The new cap space will allow Divac to be able to afford any player in the offseason.
Loser for Not Losing: The Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers traded away the biggest superstar during the season, when they traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons, but when it came to the trade deadline they didn’t trade anyone. The move shocked many around the NBA and sent the message that the Clippers wanted to rebuild.
There is nothing wrong with rebuilding, but they didn’t trade away their two best assets: Deandre Jordan and Lou Williams. The team took calls for both players, but elected to keep both and signed Williams to a three year, $24 million extension.
Jordan has a player option this year and can elect to opt out and become a free agent to leave the Clippers this summer. If the Clippers traded him during the deadline, they could have gotten something to help their rebuild instead of watching him walk away. It appears that Jordan isn’t the biggest fan of the Clippers right now either.
Clippers C DeAndre Jordan on the trade deadline.pic.twitter.com/qaB5JD08kd
— MyNBAUpdate (@MyNBAUpdate) February 10, 2018
The NBA trade deadline is always full of winners and losers, but its always one of the most exciting days of the year.
NBA Trade Deadline right now… pic.twitter.com/CPI1nttszO
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeagueTSL) February 8, 2018