The Associated PressCLEVELAND (AP) — With their NBA title hopes fading fast, the Cavaliers got aggressive at the trading deadline.
They swapped teams.
Cleveland completely changed its look — and perhaps its chances of winning a championship this season — on Thursday with a stunning sequence of deals. The Cavs traded six players, including Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose, and two future draft picks in moves designed to not only help them in the short term but could potentially help keep LeBron James beyond this season.
Just like that, the Cavs traded nearly half their roster, got younger and maybe wedged themselves back into contention to make a fourth straight Finals appearance against Golden State.
Watching from the West Coast, the defending champions took notice.
“It’s interesting, really interesting,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said of Cleveland’s drastic midseason renovation. “It’s probably obviously something that they felt was needed. I feel like they made some good moves. I don’t know, we’ll see. A lot of action. That’s a completely different team now than the team we faced the last three years.
“They’ve still got LeBron James. I think everything else at that point is irrelevant.”
The Cavs began their shocking overhaul by sending the disappointing Thomas along with forward Channing Frye and one of their two first-round picks to the Los Angeles Lakers for point guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr.
Thomas, who came over in last summer’s blockbuster trade with Boston for Kyrie Irving, played in just 15 games and wasn’t fitting in with Cleveland on or off the floor after he returned from a hip injury.
As the Thomas swap was being digested around the league, the Cavs completed a three-team deal with Utah and Sacramento, said a person with direct knowledge of Cleveland’s moves. The Cavs sent Rose, who has also been slowed by injury, and forward Jae Crowder to the Jazz for forward Rodney Hood. They’ll receive guard George Hill from the Kings in exchange for guard Iman Shumpert, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity while the teams awaited league approval.
Celtics top Wizards in OT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 12 of Boston’s last 17 points and finished with 28 to help the Celtics remain in sole possession of the Eastern Conference lead with a 110-104 overtime victory over the Washington Wizards.
Jaylen Brown added five of his 18 points in overtime for Boston. The Celtics have won five of six, and remained a game ahead of Toronto in the race for the East’s top playoff seed after the Raptors beat New York earlier.Speech