Minnesota Timberwolves trade Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers for Dario Saric and Robert Covington

The big blockbuster trade that we have been waiting for finally happened as the Minnesota Timberwolves have traded Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia. While Philly wasn’t one of his rumored destinations, it does make a ton of sense as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have shown that they are ready to win now. Continue Reading…

Jimmy Butler requests trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves

There has been smoke around this fire for a few weeks now, but it is has finally come to a head: Jimmy Butler has formally requested a trade away from the Minnesota Timberwolves. He has given the team a list of three teams he would like to be traded to: the Knicks, Clippers and Nets. All three teams that would have the kind of cap space needed to give him a max contract. Continue Reading…

Cavaliers trade for Rodney Hood and George Hill, Joe Johnson and Iman Shumpert to Sacramento and Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to Utah

As if the Cavaliers earlier trade for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. wasn’t enough, Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Cavaliers have now traded for Rodney Hood from the Utah Jazz and George Hill from the Sacramento Kings. The implication is clear: the Cavs are going for it and they are looking to improve their defense in a major way.

The complete trade looks like this:

Cleveland gets: Rodney Hood and George Hill

Utah gets: Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose

Sacramento gets: Joe Johnson and Iman Shumpert

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In addition, the Cavs also traded Dwyane Wade back to Miami basically for free.

This is pretty big for the Cavs who got younger and better defensively through two trades that completely reshaped their roster. Say what you will about owner Dan Gilbert, but this team just got even more expensive than it already was and he is willing to spend to win with this team. Their roster is now significantly younger and better. Their top nine should look something like this going forward:

George Hill
Jordan Clarkson
LeBron James
Tristan Thompson
Kevin Love
Larry Nance Jr.
Rodney Hood
Kyle Korver
JR Smith

That is one heck of a rotation although it is lacking in size a bit. Still, in today’s wing dominated NBA this is the type of athletic team that can compete with anybody. There will be an adjustment period, but this is a team that I like a lot more than the one I have seen throughout this season. I think they are the top contender in the Eastern Conference after these trades and Boston is behind the eight ball right now.

The trade makes sense for Utah. They were likely going to lose Rodney Hood this summer so getting him back for Jae Crowder, a player with theoretically the same skill set, is a great grab.

The Kings also made a smart move in dumping that George Hill contract so that they could further focus on De’Aaron Fox as their point guard of the future. This trade will save them $10 million next season which is the exact sort of trade they should be making in their competition cycle.

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Cavaliers trade Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and 1st round pick to Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr.

The first big domino of the NBA trade deadline has fallen and you have to like this one from Cleveland’s perspective. The trade, as reported by Adrian Wojanarowski, is the Cavaliers sending their own first round pick in 2018 (with protections) along with Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr..

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This move makes the Cavaliers immediately younger and improves their defense quite a bit. The Cavaliers have had the second worst Defensive Rating in the league for much of the season and the play of Thomas has only exacerbated that. The addition of two young, hungry players can only help going forward. This team needs youth and athleticism and that’s exactly what they are getting.

For comparison sake, Nance Jr. has been worth 1.5 Defensive Win Shares thus far this season and Jordan Clarkson has been worth 1.2, a total of 2.7 DWS. Frye has been worth just 0.4 DWS this year with Thomas being worth 0.0 in 15 games. Throw in Derrick Rose, who Clarkson should also steal minutes from, has only been worth 0.0 as well. This is a huge improvement for the Cavaliers defensively, no matter how you look at it.

The question of playoff experience is still there, but these two are a huge improvement over what they had. Isaiah Thomas just wasn’t the same since coming back from injury and for a team with Finals aspirations, they needed to make a move. Clarkson has had some huge offensive games this season and he should fit in nicely in lineups with LeBron James. I’d also be interested to see what pick-and-rolls with James and Nance might look like. That could be unstoppable.

Clarkson is locked up for the next three years while Nance is signed for the next two. This is a move for the now as well as the future. If LeBron leaves, this could be the start of a young core. Of course, the day isn’t over yet and there is a chance that the Cavs made this move as a way to get Kemba Walker from Charlotte. I would doubt that happening though.

For the Lakers, this is all about the offseason. Both Frye and Thomas are upcoming free agents and this clears about $13 million in space for next season. There have been many rumors linking them to going after LeBron James this offseason so in some ways, the Cavaliers just sort of helped make that a possibility. It is still seemingly unlikely, but the Lakers will be ready to make a move for a big name this offseason.

For the Cavaliers, this should put them right back as the favorite in the Eastern Conference. They have been feeling especially shaky as of late, but as long as they have the best player in the world they are a threat. It’ll be interesting to see if this is the last move of the day for them or if they have something else up their sleeve. They still have Brooklyn’s 2018 first round pick to deal if the right trade comes along. Stay tuned.

CORRECTION: The Cavs are barred from trading the Brooklyn pick thanks to the rule banning teams from not having a first round pick two seasons in a row.

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