• Kory Waldron

OTG's NBA Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 19


*Cleveland Cavaliers send 2018 first round draft pick to Indiana Pacers*

The Pacers are in a solid position after losing Paul George several short months ago. There's a core established around Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner & have to say it, Lance Stephenson. Here’s a situation where the Pacers take a chance for the future. As for the Cavs they decide to cut loose the two new additions this season that simply haven’t panned out. In any situation where the Cavaliers are involved there likely is to be multiple moves. They have tons of issues and they need high energy guys who also can play above average defense.

Pacers perspective; Thaddeus Young has been a great locker room & high energy guy in Indiana. However, he’s 29 and possibly at his high in terms of value. When/if the Pacers get back to the 2014 level Pacers, Young will be older and not in the picture. The time to move Young is now as he still has a year remaining for next year. Along with Young the Pacers package Darren Collison, Collison when healthy this year has been a spark plug, it’s been nice seeing him back in Indiana. Collison though is another guy a bit older at the age of 30. Cavs need win now players. Also noteworthy, Collison is currently shooting career highs from the field and three. (49.5 FG%, 43.2 3P%)

Why taking these pieces from Cleveland make sense. Well, the first primary part of this deal is simply another draft pick. Yes, the Cavs draft pick isn’t going to be what you write home to mom about. Yet, if the Cavs continue to struggle a tad, it could remain valuable. Let’s not forget Kyle Kuzma was drafted 27th in the draft. Gems can be found throughout the draft. Iman Shumpert is really for salary purposes to help balance things out, but he’s a solid defender the Pacers could utilize. Jae Crowder has struggled in Cleveland, maybe a change in city with a group of guys who play with energy can bring back the old Crowder. Not to mention his deal is still very friendly, doubtful that his contract could hurt the Pacers salary cap in the future.

Now for the wild card, Isaiah Thomas. Thomas has had a rocky start after missing the first 3 months of the season due to a hip injury. Calling out teammates (Kevin Love), struggling shooting (36.4 FG%, 23.7 3P%), no defense. Thomas who was perceived as a league hero and a great story just a year ago has fallen. His value heading into a summer where he once told Boston reporters, “They better bring out the brinks trucks”, is looking harsh. I don’t believe offensively Thomas is done, I think there’s too much drama and a cancerous feel to the Cavs locker. Pacers could take a flyer on Thomas, see if the change brings back a happier, more efficient Thomas. Which will lead the franchise to signing him this offseason on the cheap or letting him walk if it comes to it.

Cavs perspective; it’s desperation time, do or die, lose by 30 plus to top level teams or compete and play hard. Roster is a mess, offense is sputtering and defense is as useful as a lighter under water. If management wants to please LeBron and attempt to keep him past this year, while contending, this is one move to start off a chain reaction. Thaddeus Young would become an enforcer, high energy, hustle guy for the Cavs. Young has become a better 3-point shooter, and is overall solid on the offensive end. Something in which the Cavs have lacked, is solid point guard play. Thomas has been trash, Derrick Rose is a 20 minute back up guard. Jose Calderon has been the best point guard, but I mean, is this the guy to seriously trust? Collison by the numbers would become the best point guard on the roster. The Cavs have a small window, the time is now to actively pursue on any and every team on what the options are.

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