By Czar Elcano |
Following their 5th straight in an upset 95 – 92 loss against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Cleveland Cavaliers looked forward to improving their current 19 – 15 record.
The Cavs let go of their former 4th overall pick Dion Waiters and acquire New York Knicks swingmen J.R Smith, and Iman Shumpert. The 12′ – 13′ Sixth Man of the Year Smith, who averages 13 pts a game and 37 percent from beyond the arc in his career, will fill up the role of Waiters in the current Cavs rotation while Shumpert is expected to provide the added perimeter defense that the Cavs desperately need.
In return, the Knicks will acquire Lou Amundson, Alex Kirk and a 2019 second round pick from the Cavaliers while receiving Lance Thomas from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Waiters will be sent to Oklahoma City and will play alongside Russell Westbrook in the starting unit, or come off the bench for Reggie Jackson who is having a stellar season.
Knicks are in need of cap space, and trading off two of their high priced two guards is a wise move for Knicks president Phil Jackson.
“We’re very excited to welcome Iman and J.R. to Cleveland. With their size and versatility, we think both Iman and J.R. can help our team on both ends of the court and we look forward to them joining us,” said Cavs general manager David Griffin.
At 5 – 32, the Knicks currently holds the league’s worst record and is expected to be out of contention for the playoffs before the all-star game. They can only hope to expect that the free agency will pay kindly to their efforts on opening up some cap space by waivering bigman Samuel Dalembert. They are expected to let go of Kirk, Thomas, and Amundson as well.
With Lebron out of the lineup for another week, the Cavs’ revamped lineup with Shumpert and Smith should start to turn around otherwise speculations on their first year coach David Blatt’s coaching career might come to a bitter reality before the end of the season.
As for the Thunder, as long as their backcourt sets the pace and dish out all-star calibur performances, they are still in contention to having one of the top spots in the West.