There is certainly going to be more optimism around the Cavaliers, but we are a long ways away from saying this will seriously hurt Boston's chances at coming out of the East. Being out seven months is hard for anybody.
Thomas played in 15 games for the Cavaliers since returning from his hip injury. And they were just getting started.
Ahead of the 3 p.m. February 8 trade deadline, the Cavaliers acquired, clockwise from top left, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., George Hill and Rodney Hood. George Hill might be 31, but he's a smart defender capable of checking the league's premier point guards. "Hill will provide stability and solid defense in the backcourt and Hood is a 6'8" wing who can shoot and can use his length to help on defense. The up-and-down Hood was averaging 21.8 points per 36 minutes for the Jazz this season, while hitting 38.9% of his long-range attempts. Clarkson has converted 44.8 percent of his shots from the field, 32.4 percent of his three-point attempts and 79.5 percent of his free throws.
Hood is an average defender overall, but he has shown an ability to defend opposing jump shots (effective field goal against of 46.3 percent) and neutralize players coming off screens (among top 6 percent of defenders in the National Basketball Association this season) which is critical when facing the Golden State Warriors, whose offense revolves around Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thomson turning ball screens into points.
Nance, meanwhile, could be the best asset the Cavs acquired at the deadline. Nance gives them athleticism and rebounding in the paint and more defense.
Financially, this is another example of Dan Gilbert proving he'll spend what it takes to win. He may have his flaws - OK, he does have his flaws - but there are worse owners out there than a free-spending one.
Nobody knows what LeBron is going to do this summer. Shumpert has been a non-factor since early in the season. LeBron James will still dictate the action, but Hill is perfectly capable as secondary playmaker, and he gives the Cavs a much-needed defensive presence on the perimeter.
The breakdown: The quartet are making a combined $35.42 million this season.
Frye: The Cavs, sadly, have now cut ties with the two most amusing members of the Road Trippin' podcast in Richard Jefferson and Frye. You guys could have forced a buyout and looked at other options.
The deal also ends a short-lived and ugly tenure for Thomas on the Cavs. He has been cajoling Cavs management to get more two-way players to compete with the Golden State Warriors and the latter finally heard him.
"It is not either 2019 or 2018", Pelinka said.
Again, Gilbert has made a heck of a commitment.
They made all that abundantly clear with their Thursday Afternoon Massacre, when they blew up their roster. But the Lakers just paved the way for them to land a superstar or two. "Secondly, the Cavs realized their roster was old".
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