Breaking Down The Cleveland Cavaliers Trade Frenzy

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Breaking Down The Cleveland Cavaliers Trade Frenzy


The Cleveland Cavaliers tore down their roster at the trade deadline, so let’s break down where they went right, where they could have done better, and how the roster will look moving forward in the hopes of reaching a fourth consecutive NBA Finals.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that we will also look at some factors that affected the various trades, some you may be aware of, some you won’t be. This what the Cavaliers shipped off and what they received in return.



– Isaiah Thomas
– Channing Frye
– Dwyane Wade
– Derrick Rose
– Jae Crowder
– Iman Shumpert
– 2018 1st pick
– 2020 second round pick

-Jordan Clarkson
-Rodney Hood
-Larry Nance Jr
-George Hill
-Heavily-protected future 2nd


Due to so much transpiring, I think it’s important we dissect each trade separately, before determining the overall impact and success.


Los Angeles Lakers Receive:

Channing Frye, Isaiah Thomas, Cleveland Cavaliers’ first round pick.


Cleveland Cavaliers Receive:

Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr


This is nothing short of a blockbuster deal for both teams moving forward. Firstly, I believe it’s a good trade for both teams, providing the Lakers achieve what they want to in the summer’s upcoming free agency. There was mutual desire from both Clarkson and the Lakers to find a new home before the trade deadline, as they didn’t see his deal for the next two seasons as a favorable one. Nance was also a necessary move for them to create cap space in the hopes of building a championship contender. Now, in terms of the players the Lakers received, both Thomas (when fully healthy) and Frye will help them immediately to areas such as three-point shooting, free throw shooting, scoring and veteran leadership. It’s likely, however, that both Thomas and Frye are just temporary pieces in a bigger picture for the Lakers. Thomas has already expressed his desire to start, but Magic Johnson has reiterated that he’ll see minutes, but Lonzo Ball is absolutely the starting point guard. A possible contract buyout has also been discussed because of this. With Thomas’ contract set to finish at the end of the season, much like Frye, it’s almost certain they both won’t be in the purple and gold after this campaign. This isn’t a bad thing for the Lakers though, as they knew exactly what they were doing, and by seeing both Thomas and Frye leave, the cap room will further open up and give them an opportunity to sign two superstars to max contracts this summer. They will target LeBron James and Paul George with the available money.

Now, for the Cavs side, this was a great trade for them as well. To their credit, they didn’t try and force the Thomas project and understood the fit wasn’t right with him. With their hopes of competing for a championship this season, his health also became an issue. It was going to take much too much time for Thomas to get fully healthy and then really show what he can bring to their franchise. It was sad to see them let go of Frye, but again, it was necessary with who they’ve brought across. With Thomas’ contract expiring, to time to get rid of him was now, before they got too deep in investing in him. I believe they made the right choice in moving him, as he was a defensive liability that would never outweigh the matchup problems they’d have every single time down the floor with his offense.

Focusing on the players they’ve brought in, Clarkson and Nance should excite Cavs fans everywhere. Nance is from Cleveland, and his dad is a Cavaliers’ legend so the fit made perfect sense. In terms of his play he’ll bring much needed energy, defense and athleticism to a squad that has craved it all year. Nance plays the game the right way and understands his strengths and weaknesses which makes him a solid pro. He will fit nicely in the rotation and will help them on the glass as well. As for Clarkson, his game speaks for itself. He will flourish in a scoring bench role for the Cavs, and they now have another ball handler on their roster with youth on his side. Clarkson can score the ball for fun, make plays and improves them defensively in their back court. The Cavs got a hell of a lot younger with this trade and I think it was an excellent one for them.


Utah Jazz Receive:
Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder

Sacramento Kings Receive:
Iman Shumpert, Joe Johnson, 2022 second rounder

Cleveland Cavaliers Receive:
George Hill, Rodney Hood


This was another massive trade for everyone involved but especially the Cavaliers. They had been linked to George Hill for many months leading up to the deadline, and they finally landed him alongside dynamic wing Rodney Hood. They also didn’t lose much in return. They said goodbye to Derrick Rose, who had already missed most of the season, and was battling with his health and playing issues as well. Rose never really fit with the Cavs as for one he wasn’t available, and two, couldn’t stretch the floor or see enough minutes to really make an impact. Jose Calderon was actually a much better fit with his outside shooting and steady play when called upon. Iman Shumpert was shown the door after undergoing surgery and not finding minutes in the rotation. It was he or JR Smith likely to be dealt, and Shumpert was the one to go.

The last piece to leave Cleveland was Jae Crowder, who was one of the more promising pieces that came to The Land this past summer. Crowder was supposed to be defensive stopper and small forward worthy of backing up and playing alongside LeBron James, but has been nothing short of a complete disappointment since arriving. Known for his “3 & D” reputation, Crowder hasn’t guarded anyone this season and has struggled with his outside shot. Although he has struggled I would have liked to see the Cavs hold on to him because I think eventually he would have found his feet and he could have been an extremely valuable player come playoff time.

Again, with this trade the Cavs cut out the dead wood and got a lot younger, more versatile and defensively better. Hill has been a good defender his entire career, as well as leads the league in three-point percentage. He will bring a veteran presence and calming and steadying influence to the Cavaliers. Hood is also a very exciting prospect for them moving forward. Hood is unorthodox being a left handed, and he’s got great size and length being a 6-foot-8 shooting guard. Hood can stretch the floor, score the ball and defend, all things the Cavs crave right now.


Miami Heat Receive:
Dwyane Wade

Cleveland Cavaliers Receive:
Miami Heat’s 2024 second round pick

In short, I believe the Cavs should have tried to keep Dwyane Wade as he would have been a valuable piece come playoff time, but in saying that, it may have been necessary when it’s all said and done. Besides the sentimental and feel good factor of Wade going back to South Beach, although I didn’t love the trade from a championship standpoint. Wade could have been huge for the Cavs when it matters most but it was made known that they were going to decrease his minutes as the season progressed. At the end of the day it was an important trade for the Cavaliers, and they’ve done right by Wade, which is rare nowadays in the NBA.

We all anticipated change, but the complete makeover of this roster is unlike anything we’ve seen in recent money for a contender. All in all I believe the Cavs took a big step in the right direction with all their trades. Obviously something wasn’t right but the culture change can go a long way for this franchise.

In my opinion, the Cavs’ front office was extremely smart in their dealing with these trades. They’ve managed to remain an elite team in the NBA but has also put a plan in place in case they lose LeBron James this summer. This was a very unique and tricky objective to accomplish but I think they’ve pretty much nailed it. They’ve also managed to hold onto their Brooklyn pick which what everyone was after.

I still believe they should have tried to keep Wade and Crowder somehow because of their potential importance in the playoffs, but all in all they have done a fantastic job. They have got a hell of a lot younger, more versatile and defensively much, much better. They have replaced and perhaps even improved their three-point shooting as well. I believe these moves will rejuvenate the entire franchise and more importantly change the culture of the franchise moving forward. It will be interesting to see how this all gels with the new pieces but all in all I still think the Cavs are the team to beat in the East even with these moves.

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