On Thursday February 8th, the Cleveland Cavaliers traded away their summer experiment to various teams; almost like a reset button was pressed.
Since the start of 2018, the Cavaliers have looked like a shell of their former selves; losing games to subpar teams and getting blown out by playoff contenders.
LeBron James, the best player in the world, looked frustrated throughout the entire month, seeking answers to their problem. The only difference between the start of the season and the start of the new year was the addition of Isaiah Thomas.
Isaiah Thomas was part of the big trade between the Boston Celtics and the Cavs; which sent Cavs’ point guard, Kyrie Irving, to the Celtics and Thomas to the Cavs. The trade had captured the headlines because everyone wanted to know why Kyrie Irving wanted out.
Most suspected that Irving wanted to get out of LeBron shadow and lead his own team to a championship. On the other hand Isaiah Thomas was doing just that for the Celtics, but because he was injury prone and did not look like a solid solution for the Celtics long-term.
Now, fast forward to January 2018, and you see the problem. Isaiah Thomas was injured from the moment the Cavs got him until January when he was cleared to play. Once Thomas was free to play, it was clear that he did not fit what the Cavs wanted offensively and definitely not what they want defensively. Thomas became a liability because the offense runs through LeBron and not an actual point guard. Thomas was used to having the ball in his hands, but that was not the case with the Cavs.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded Dwayne Wade to Miami. pic.twitter.com/fis2fonvn3
— Hashtag Basketball (@hashBasketball) February 8, 2018
Thomas wasn’t playing well and blamed the team chemistry issues on Kevin Love. At that point, the world knew the Cavs were being destroyed from within. LeBron wasn’t even playing his best.
*Kevin Love opens twitter app*
*Sees Isaiah Thomas was traded to Lakers*
— Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) February 8, 2018
After LeBron had one more conversation with the Cavalier’s executives, the decision had been made to scrap the experiment. The Cavs sent the aging Dewayne Wade back to Miami, got rid of the knee-less Derick Rose, and sent mini-me, Isaiah Thomas, to the Lakers.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) February 8, 2018
Cavaliers, post trade deadline:
PG: George Hill, Jordan Clarkson
SG: Rodney Hood, J.R. Smith, Korver
SF: LeBron James, Jeff Green, Cedi Osman
PF: Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr.
C: Tristan Thompson
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) February 8, 2018
All these moves were needed. The Cavs open up a little cap room, and possibly save their season. The Cavs did all of this movement before the All-Star break, which will give the Cavs plenty of time to build chemistry before the playoffs.
The Cavs currently sit at 3rd in the Eastern Conference, behind only the Raptors and the Celtics.
Feature photo from FanSided.com