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Cleveland Cavaliers Destroy Roster in Name of Success

Simon Pada, Writer

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There was much dysfunction on the court earlier this season for the Cleveland Cavaliers and their start to the season was not as expected. They had a creaky start to their season coming into Christmas Eve with a 7-13 record. Tired of losing games, Lebron James and the Cavaliers rearranged the roster and traded for a much younger team at the trade deadline. They traded away much of the team,  sending away Iman Shumpert, Dwyane Wade, Channing Frye, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and Derrick Rose, many of whom, in the past, were legitimate contributors to the team’s success. On the way in were Utah’s Rodney Hood, Sacramento’s George Hill, and Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. from the Los Angeles Lakers, including a top 10 pick.

The main issue Cleveland had was age; the average age for that team was 30 years old. Bringing in Rodney Hood (25), Larry Nance Jr. (25), and Jordan Clarkson (25) gave them a step in the right direction to solving that particular issue. In a sport where versatility, stamina, athleticism, and age play a significant role in a successful team, Cleveland did what they believed they had to do in order to succeed.  

Hood is a solid athlete and marksman from distance. Nance entered the Slam Dunk Contest this year and will run the floor, and Clarkson is under contract through the 2019-20 season.They became younger and more athletic in key places (Hood, Nance); they now have a capable starting point guard in George Hill; and, they have a scorer off the bench who’s a healthier version of the seventh man Isaiah Thomas should’ve been in Jordan Clarkson.

Initially coming over as part of the Kyrie Irving blockbuster, Isaiah Thomas never lived up to expectations from his stint in Boston: he became an underwhelming performer for the Cavaliers, was unplayable on defense and not the right for Lebron’s style of offense. Additionally, he often criticized his teammates’ performance, creating bad chemistry within the team.

In the course of about an hour, the Cavaliers changed the course of their season and became one of the fan favorites to be the Eastern Conference champions and make it to the NBA finals once again. Through these flurry of trades, Cleveland upgraded their entire team for the stretch and it has already been paying dividends. 

 

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Cleveland Cavaliers Destroy Roster in Name of Success