Cleveland Cavaliers/New York Knicks
Traded G Dion Waiters to Oklahoma City for a protected 2015 first-round draft pick. Traded F Lou Amundson and C Alex Kirk and a 2019 second-round draft pick to the N.Y. Knicks for guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert.
“I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.” – LeBron James, 2014
This trade is noteworthy due to the letter LeBron James penned this summer when he announced his return to the Cavaliers. There was belief from LeBron and many analysts that his presence and basketball IQ would be able to transform Waiters into a much more efficient product than he’s put out in previous seasons.
In reality, Waiters statistically had his worst season of his career paired with LeBron. There are more factors involved in that equation but the bottom line is; Waiters didn’t gel well with LeBron and the Cavs’ staff took note, trying to cut their losses.
The result is bringing in two more shoot-happy guards, (Shumpert is still nursing a separated shoulder and hasn’t logged any minutes.) The difference between Shump and J.R is begins with defense. Shumpert is a cagey defender who is capable of guarding three different positions on the floor and is less of a disruption to the offensive flow.
Smith on the other hand is a volatile player that can give you very inconsistent performances. It’s unquestioned whether he can score or not; Smith averaged 34.4 points a game when he took his brief stint abroad to China in 2011-2012. But the sample size since joining the Cavs is a recipe for many future headaches.
In his first game, Smith scored 0 points from 5 shot attempts (four of them from three-point range.)
The next game, he dazzled coaches with a 27 point outing, but then followed that up in the next game with 4.
You would have to assume that when LeBron returns from his injury that will smooth out his transition, but many had similar sentiments about Waiters.
This trade is clearly a chess move by Phil Jackson who is continuing to unload more players acquired during previous the Knicks regime in order to implement the players of his choice. This Knicks season is looking more and more like their worst in franchise history.
Acquired C Timofey Mozgov from Denver for two protected 2015 first-round draft picks.
This move seems to be in response to the Anderson Varejao injury that occurred recently. The Cavs have a lot of issues right now and seem to be doing some shuffling to find a roster that not only fits LeBron’s style of play, but also Coach Blatt. Mozgov is surely an upgrade for this Cavs team as he can bring in plenty of toughness, rebounding, and hard work. In his second game with the Cavs, Mozgov notched 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks. The center position is his to lose on this squad.
Acquired F Brandan Wright from Boston for a protected first-round draft pick.
Brandan Wright has bounced around quite a bit this season, going from Dallas to Boston in the Rondo trade, and now from Boston to Phoenix. The Suns are very intrigued by his pick-and-roll-game and are very excited about his shot-blocking ability, making him a potentially attractive long-term investment to their frontcourt.
Signed F Kenyon Martin to a 10-day contract.
Due to the personal issues Larry Sanders is dealing with, the Bucks have been left with a void down low. Insert “Mr. Energy” Kenyon Martin who can provide some quality spot minutes to this Bucks squad under the right management and utilization. This also pairs longtime New Jersey Nets teammates’ Jason Kidd and Martin in a new coach-player relationship.
Surely the Bucks don’t expect a ton of output from Kenyon Martin seeing how he was only signed to a 10-day contract, but this seems to be one of those situations that if the fit works out, he’ll be guaranteed a contract for the rest of the year regardless of when/if Sanders returns.
Traded Tayshaun Prince to Boston and Quincy Pondexter to New Orleans. Jeff Green moves from Boston to Memphis. Austin Rivers is sent to Boston, (who will now be sent to the LA Clippers.)
Jeff Green seemed to be wasting away in Massachusetts and this trade could potentially rejuvenate his production value. The Grizzlies’ staff realized they needed a more dynamic player at the wing position and hit a home run by nabbing Jeff Green. Green seems like the type of player that can fit in perfect to the Grizzlies’ system without the added pressure of being the man like he dealt with in Boston.
Although Tayshaun Prince was included in the Jeff Green trade that will be sending him to Boston, it appears his future is still undecided as Prince wants to play for a contender and Celtics GM Danny Ainge has his team in rebuilding mode. Reportedly, the two will sit down to discuss Prince’s future and whether that involves the Celtics or not.
Quincy Pondexter actually started his career in New Orleans but this is a trade that will certainly fly under the radar. The Pelicans are looking to enrich their defense and love Pondexter’s ability to handle multiple positions.
One of the more intriguing stories is Austin Rivers being added last minute to this multi-team trade to get it completed. Rivers was originally set to go to Boston but will now be sent to Los Angles to join his dad (Doc Rivers) and the Clippers. Talk about a win on multiple levels for the young guard. The two are reportedly looking forward to working together.