Well the Cleveland Cavs season just a little more interesting, Dion Waiters after being sent to the locker room after shoot around, later found out he was the subject of a three team trade. The Cavs will send Waiters to the Oklahoma City Thunder while getting J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the New York Knicks and a lottery protected first round pick from the Thunder. The Knicks recieve the Cavs 2019 second round pick along with Lou Amundson and Alex Kirk, along with Lance Thomas from the Thunder.
The upside for the Cavs, they get a wing defender they’ve need all year. Shumpert is 6’5” 220 lbs which makes him a more viable defender in a league where they average shooting guard ranges from 6’3” -6’7”, that added length comes in handy. If he can hit shots when the defense collapses on Kyrie and LeBron he may have found a perfect home. J.R. Smith is the wild card, since winning the sixth man award he’s longed for an expanded role to display his talents. If he is willing to accept that role he could increase his market value when he hits free agency. Another big ‘if’ is can he play to the ceiling he showed to when he was in Denver and his first few years in New York? Is he that same player any more. Time will tell.
The Knicks shed some necessary salary to and get a draft pick which is something they’ve lacked the last decade. The Knicks know their season is lost and are smart to look to ways to accumulate assets to build out that roster in the summer.
The Thunder might have gotten the player with the most upside in the deal. Waiters, can create his own shot, showed himself to be a decent defender when effort is shown and he has improved his jump shop since last season. Will he fit is the question? He was often frustrated not being a starter and being allowed to freelance this season, how will he cope with having to share the ball with Westbrook and Durant? Waiters, if he can accept his bench role with the Thunder will provide them with another guy who you aren’t afraid of him having the ball in his hands and someone who can create a shot independent of Durant and Westbrook.
The trade deadline is about 7 weeks away, this should be just the start of trades as teams try to round out their team with talent to make a championship run. For the Cavs and Thunder, we’ll see how these moves affect their play going forward.