The Cleveland Cavaliers have made a couple head-scratching moves. First, they traded Dion Waiters for Iman Shumpert’s flat top and J.R. Smith’s ability to get into VIP rooms. Then today, the Cavs traded a couple protected first-round picks to Denver for Tomofey Mozgov (who apparently survived that Blake Griffin dunk).
I get why the Cavs are making trades, but they feel like panic moves. LeBron James is battling knee and back problems and they need to right the ship in a hurry. It clearly wasn’t working out with Waiters and he needed a new home, but the deal they received could be more toxic than helpful.
Will these move put Cleveland one step closer to being a title contender or is it a step backwards?
All NBA fans have a soft place in their heart for J.R. Smith…but if he’s playing on your favorite team, that soft place begins to harden. Yes, he does odd things like untie player’s shoes and messes with Vince Cater, but he doesn’t play defense and hasn’t passed the ball since high school.
Mozgov was obtained because Anderson Varejao is out for the season…and because he has a history with Cavs coach David Blatt. Mozgov played for Blatt on the Russian national team that won the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
LeBron’s first tenure in Cleveland was littered with panic moves. I hope this isn’t the first of many to come in Cleveland.
Will these players instantly make Cleveland the favorite in the East? Not exactly. I still feel like they have at least one more addition left. It will most likely come late in the year after a tanking team buys out and releases someone of impact. Cleveland will be a popular destination for a those players.
Hang in there, LeBron. It (might) get better soon?
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.