The Cleveland Cavaliers had to do something at this year's trade deadline—the team was falling apart. New General Manager Koby Altman stunned the basketball world by completely remaking the team's roster.
The Cavs shipped out a host of veterans and brought in a bunch of young guys. The acquisitions definitely infused the team with a new energy, but the players acquired at the deadline—Jordan Clarkson, George Hill, Rodney Hood, and Larry Nance Jr.—have made minimal contributions in the postseason. With the dust having settled on the Kyrie Irving trade (the Brooklyn pick, we now know, landed at No. 8), it's fair to speculate whether the Cavs' flurry of moves was wise.
According to a report from Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, LeBron James and coach Tyronn Lue were hoping the Cavs would acquire a rim protector at the deadline—specifically, Los Angeles Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan. As Lloyd writes:
Now, however, they can no longer say they're "All-In." They cannot say they did whatever they could to keep LeBron here this time. Doing whatever they could to keep him would've meant dealing for DeAndre Jordan at the trade deadline, the rim-protecting center Lue coveted and James equally wanted badly. Instead, the Cavs hedged, collecting a group of twenty-somethings that can grow together in the event James is off to Houston or Philadelphia or Los Angeles or some other contender next season.
The Clippers surprisingly hung onto Jordan, who has a player option to opt out of his contract this summer. That Brooklyn pick was reportedly the sticking point that kept the two teams from making a deal. No. 8 is a high draft pick, for sure—but in hindsight, it may have been worth it.
LeBron, Lue, and the Cavs are down 2-0 to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. They'll hope to get on the board in Game 3 in Cleveland Saturday at 8:30 p.m. EST.