Six-th Man Deal Between Thunder, Cavs, and Knicks
*Photo via USA Today
Yesterday, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers, and New York Knicks completed a three way trade, the detail are below.
“ The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired New York Knicks guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert in a multi-team trade that also sends guard Dion Waiters to the Oklahoma City Thunder, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Oklahoma City gives the Cavaliers a protected future first-round draft pick and sends guard Lance Thomas to the Knicks, league sources said. As part of the trade, the Cavaliers sent rookie center Alex Kirk, forward Lou Amundson and a 2019 second-round pick to the Knicks, sources said.
The Thunder's pick to Cleveland is protected through No. 18 in 2015 and through No. 15 in 2016 and '17. Beyond that, it becomes two second-round picks.
For New York, the deal is a salary dump to clear cap space. The Knicks unload the $6.4 million owed to Smith next season, giving them approximately $28 million in salary-cap space this summer. “ Via Adrian-Wojnarowski from Yahoo Sports
Oklahoma City Thunder
Traded: Protected first-round pick and Lance Thomas
Received: Dion Waiters
Traded: Dion Waiters, Alex Kirk, and Lou Amundson
Received: Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, and 2015 protected first-round pick (from OKC)
New York Knicks
Traded: Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith
Received: 2019 second-round pick (from Cavs),Lance Thomas, Alex Kirk and Lou Amundson
Oklahoma City Thunder-
OKC needed to add another scoring option, so the addition of Waiters make sense. The question will be how will Waiters mesh with Westbrook and Durant. Waiters himself is a volume scorer, who can be sporadic at times. It will be important for him to buy into the Thunder and their Finals aspirations. It also will be helpful that he will most likely be picking up Sixth man duties, allowing him to give the bench some needed scoring . If this works out, Waiters could be the boost OKC needs to reach the Finals. If not, OKC only lost a role player and a protected first-round pick for a former lottery pick.
The Cavs needed to make moves, it has been obvious their roster has flaws. Especially on the defensive end of the floor, this is where the addition of Iman Shumpert is great. Even though he hasn’t been a great defender this season, in the past he has showed the ability to be a lockdown defender. I believe part of his issue this season has been his teammates, even great defenders need to help at times. Help defense has been a major issue for the Knicks, but that doesn’t make up for his excessive reach ins, something he needs to fix. It also should be noted Shumpert has steadily improved his jump shot, something that is needed when playing with LeBron. Next up is J.R. Smith, only two years removed from winning Sixth Man of the Year. So he is a talented player, but the issues is his lack of focus and shot selection. He has the ability to carry team or destruct a team. I personally believe the change of scenery for J.R. and relationship with LeBron will help fix some of his issues. Both players our similar to players LeBron played with in Miami. Both are athletic, can drive to the hoop, and spread the floor with their jumper. Shumpert even more with his perimeter defense. Not to mention the Cavs picked up a protected first-round pick, which they are rumored to use in a trade for a big. The Cavs didn’t give anything up really and picked up two wing players, who have shown the ability to be good players in the NBA. The only downside of the trade are the players’ contracts they picked up, but if the trade works out they won’t mind.
New York Knicks-
The Knicks are having one of the worst seasons in their franchise's history. There has been a combinations of reasons for this letdown. One being the roster. The roster wasn’t very talented and didn’t fit the triangle offense very well. So the best thing the Knicks could do was clear cap space for this off-season and they did just that. In process they picked up two young players in Lance Thomas and Alex Kirk, which can never hurt when you're rebuilding. Lou Amundson is a hard working guy, but isn’t there for future plans. The 2019 second-round pick doesn’t have much value, but you never know. So ultimately the Knicks completed their goal of creating cap space for the off-season with plans to acquire more players who fit the triangle.The Knicks already got what they hoped out of the trade, which was relief of cap space. We will see out how the new addition turn out in OKC and Cleveland.
-By Nicholas Diesing-Fay