In unprecedented fashion, the Cleveland Cavaliers have overhauled their roster in an attempt to make another shot at an NBA championship.
The Cavalier's general manager Koby Altman acquired Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and Cleveland’s first-round pick. Cleveland then shipped out Iman Shumpert, Derrick Rose, and Jae Crowder in a three-team deal that brought Rodney Hood and George Hill to town.
In the process, the Cavaliers became far more athletic and younger, which should allow them to play defense more effectively. Hill and Hood could both potentially start, although the latter had been coming off the bench with Utah. Hill will start in place of Thomas, who was sent to the Lakers.
The Cavaliers had struggled defensively since Thomas returned from a hip injury that forced him out of last season with the Boston Celtics. Thomas also struggled to regain his offensive form, and he was somewhat vocal about the Cavaliers’ struggles and his role in them.
Nance Jr. is slotted to take part in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest, where he is a favorite for the event. The versatile forward will now follow in his father’s footsteps, as Larry Nance was a Cleveland legend.
“I’ll be forever grateful for everything that the @lakers organization, the fans, and my teammates have done for me!,” Nance wrote on Instagram. “It’s been an unbelievable experience and I couldn’t be happier with where I started this journey! Thank you guys for the past 2 1/2 years!
On to THE LAND I go.. #JustAKidFromAkron"
The Lakers, on the other hand, freed up cap space that could allow them to pursue two max free agents in the offseason. Ideally, Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka would likely pursue LeBron James and Paul George, although it is unclear if either would be interested in a move to the Lakers.
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