Last night, twitter broke. Seriously, it broke after news of a proposed three team, six player deal was announced. The Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers, and New York Knicks pulled off a deal to try and make each team better. Here’s what happened, who went where and what it could mean for each team.
Acquired: J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert
Lost: 2nd Round pick (2019) sent to the Knicks along with Alex Kirk and Lou Amundson
What Trade Means: The Cavs have underachieved in comparison to the expectations of most, they are a dynamite offensive team at times but a horrible defensive unit. After trading Wiggins in the Love deal, Shumpert instantly becomes Cleveland’s second best perimeter defender after LeBron. Smith gives them a proven scorer off the bench, specifically a three point threat. Smith will also be one of the few members of the Cavs bench that can create his own shot. While this trade doesn’t solve for Cleveland is their issues protecting the rim, they may have another move in them but it’d be difficult considering their cap situation. This trade put the Cavs in the luxury tax, we’ll see how this turns out for them on the court in the coming weeks.
Acquired: Dion Waiters
Lost: Protected future 1st Round pick (to the Cavs), Lance Thomas
What this Trade Means: The Thunder don’t tend to make moves unless they’ve done their due diligence, the addition of Waiters will boost their bench. OKC has several young players that get minutes off the bench in Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, Andre Roberson, and Perry Jones III on the perimeter. Jackson has been the most consistent of that bunch, Lamb has flashes but goes missing at times, same for Jones. Roberson provides on the defensive end, but is a Thabo Sefolosha type liability on offense. Waiters ability to put the ball in the basket is needed, getting away from that awful fit of playing with Irving and James might help him most.
Kevin Durant on Dion Waiters per the New York Post: “I am not saying he’s James’ replacement because we’re far past that. But he can play, he can come off the bench for us and score and make plays. He is a really good player. A lot of people take him for granted, I think.’’
New York Knicks
Acquired: 2nd Round pick (2019), Lance Thomas
Lost: Samuel Dalembert (Waived), J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert
What this Trade Means: The Knicks have taken a huge step towards cap flexibility, getting a team to take Smith off their hands was huge, even if it came at the expense of Shumpert. With the possibility of shutting down Carmelo Anthony for the remainder of the season, the Knicks will join the Sixers in the tanking sweepstakes while opening their wallets a bit in hopes of reloading both this summer and next in free agency. A great move by the formerly cash strapped Knicks.
What do you think of this three team deal, who won or lost in your opinion?? Share your thoughts below in our comments section!!