NBA Trade Deadline: Villain LeBron, Did the Cavaliers get Worse, Danny Ainge Plays it Safe, Trades that Never Happened

The NBA Trade Deadline ended at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, and it was suspenseful per usual. Big names had to pack their bags and move, while rumored trades fell through and several big names stayed put. When it comes to trading players, there is always a winner, and there is always a loser, but grading the trades can’t be done until after a few games. Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN NBA Insider, gave us a couple of bombs today.

Big Day for the Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers were the first team to make a splash, trading Isaiah Thomas (acquired from Boston in Kyrie Irving trade), Channing Frye and their protected 2018 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.

Isaiah Thomas was not popular in Cleveland. When he first arrived, he was already recovering from a hip injury that didn’t allow him to play until the January 2 game against the Portland Trail Blazers. His tenure with the Cavaliers was very rocky, to say the least.

LeBron James, who honestly no one likes anymore except for LeBron, made comments about how he never wanted Isaiah Thomas in Cleveland to begin with. Isaiah also played very poorly for the Cavs, only averaging 14.7 PPG, while shooting a subpar 36.1% from the field, and 25.3% from behind the arc. He is also having an awful defensive season, which isn’t surprising at all.

If you look at this trade on paper, the Lakers still come out as the winners. They gain more scoring from both Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye, they free up enough money for two max contracts in either 2018 or 2019, and they get back a pick which they lost in a trade.

But the Cavaliers were far from done after trading Isaiah Thomas; they decided to involve themselves in 3-team trade which included the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings:

  1. The Cleveland Cavaliers sent Jae Crowder and consistently-injured former-MVP Derrick Rose to the Utah Jazz for Rodney Hood. The Utah Jazz are not expected to keep Derrick Rose, making him a free agent.
  2. The Cavaliers also sent Iman Shumpert to the Sacramento Kings for George Hill. Hill has been a target for the Cavaliers (LeBron) for most of the season.
  3. The Utah Jazz sent Joe Johnson to the Sacramento Kings, which was part of the trade. The Kings are expected to release the aging veteran.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were still not done after the 3-team trade. Dwyane Wade was the victim of a trade, being forced to pack his bags and ship back to the Miami Heat. Wade was another player who had a rocky stint with the Cavaliers. The aging star was unable to make an impact on the team, only averaging about 11 PPG, shooting an awful 32.9% from behind the arc, but able to convert 45.5% from the field. Wade came to the Cavaliers hoping to make another title run and play with one of his favorite teammates. The Miami Heat sent a 2020 second-round pick, which made its way to Sacramento (Cleveland included it in trade for George Hill).

If you don’t think LeBron had anything to do with the trades, you need to reevaluate and look back at what he has done. The reason why the Cavaliers have had so many issues this season is because LeBron won’t stop whining, being petty, and being a damn snake. All he has done this season (even more than in previous seasons) is cause issues with his teammates. He has done nothing but complained about how the organization won’t get the players he wants, even though it is the organization’s responsibility to find players that fit the team best. A GREAT player does not publicly speak about issues that have to do with the team, and the players he’s supposed to be “teammates” with. Although LeBron has no interaction with the front office at the moment, guess who gave them the idea to trade Isaiah Thomas, get George Hill, and clear the entire roster…LEBRON JAMES! I don’t care if people disagree with me; you never saw MJ do half the stuff LeBron has done this season. MJ worked with what he had, and never publicly spoke about issues with his teammates or the organization, he just played the game and competed every night.

Honestly, the Cavaliers got worse in the several trades they made. Their defensive rating might go up throughout the season, but they lose several scorers. On paper, the Cavaliers did not improve. Who do they expect to be their third option after Kevin Love comes back? Rodney Hood? They absolutely got worse after the several trades they made. After all of this, the Cavaliers were able to keep the Brooklyn Pick, which they really couldn’t trade because of the Stepien Rule (can’t trade first-round pick consecutive years).

Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are always in the mix when it comes to the NBA Trade Deadline. After several rumors came up, by 3 p.m today, the Celtics made no trades. Rumor has it that Danny Ainge was VERY interested in acquiring Tyreke Evans. Well, guess what, he’s still in Memphis. I take it either Danny saw something that others didn’t and decided to play it safe and stay put, or he didn’t offer enough and the Grizzlies decided to say no. Tyreke Evans would’ve been a nice addition to the roster. Coming off the bench, he could’ve brought a lot of scoring and energy. It would’ve have been nice to see him play with Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris.

Danny Ainge made a big decision and decided to keep Marcus Smart. Smart had been mentioned in trade rumors for several weeks, but after 3 p.m today, he’s still throwing on the beautiful green jersey we all love. Ainge thinks highly of Marcus Smart, which is why they did not let him go for a small price.

Danny Ainge is a very smart General Manager and knows what he is doing. If he thinks the team is fine at the moment, then have faith in what he is doing. He signed Greg Monroe, possibly might sign Joe Johnson if he is released by the Kings, and might know something we don’t (possible Gordon Hayward return). Although it would’ve been nice to a acquire a player to help with scoring, the Celtics are still looking good and will make a deep playoff run.

Trades That Never Happened 

Several players who stayed put in their current cities.

Tyreke Evans was a big target for 3 teams: The Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and Philadelphia 76ers. He’s had a great season so far, averaging 19.5 PPG, 5.0 TRB, and 5.0 AST, while shooting about 46% from the field, and about 39% from behind the arc. Denver made two offers, which consisted of Emmanuel Mudiay and a second-round pick OR an expiring contract and multiple second round picks (Reported by Zach Lowe).

DeAndre Jordan was another name rumored to be traded before the deadline. The Cleveland Cavaliers (of course) had been after the athletic big man for weeks, as they looked to bolster their defense. Apparently, Tristan Thompson was a player involved, but all we know is that Jordan is staying in LA.

Another Los Angeles Clipper who stayed put, and even signed a 33-year contract extension, was the flashy and explosive scorer, Lou Williams. Williams has been on a tear this year for the Los Angeles Clippers, averaging about 23 PPG, along with recording a 50-point game. The Clippers set a high price for Williams, considering the numbers he has put up this year.

Marcus Smart, the streaky shooter but hard-nosed defender, is staying in Boston. Danny Ainge, as I said earlier, thinks highly of Smart and wasn’t going to let him go so easy. I think keeping Smart was a smart (LOL get it) move because it helps the Boston Celtics on defense, and we didn’t get some crap player or asset in return. Danny was only letting Smart go if it benefited the team.

Kemba Walker was another player targeted by the (of course, who else would it be at this point)Cleveland Cavaliers. The only way Kemba was going to Cleveland was if they gave up the Brooklyn pick. Well, since they traded their own first round pick today to the Lakers, the Brooklyn pick was out of the question because of the Stepien Rule.

Trades that Did Happen

Memphis Grizzles traded James Ennis to the Detroit Pistons for Brice Johnson and a second round pick.

The Portland Trail Blazers traded Noah Vonleh and cash to the Chicago Bulls for Milovan Rakovic.

The Orlando Magic traded Elfrid Payton to the Phoenix Suns for a second-round pick.

Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, and Dallas Mavericks were involved in a 3-team trade:

  1. Denver trades Emmanuel Mudiay to the New York Knicks
  2. Dallas trades Devin Harris to the Denver Nuggets
  3. New York trades Doug McDermott to the Dallas Mavericks
  4. Denver and New York swap picks. Denver gets New York’s 2018 second-round pick via Clippers. The Knicks get the Nuggets second-round pick via Portland.

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Photo(s): The Ringer

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