|New York's Favorite |
Backcourt is off to Cleveland
The Knicks have sent Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to Cleveland, the Thunder sent a protected 2015 first-round pick and Lance Thomas to New York, and Cleveland sent Alex Kirk and Lou Amundson to New York, while Dion Waiters is on his way to play in Oklahoma.
So wait, why did the Knicks do this deal? They got absolutely nothing in return for Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith. Hold on though, the deal is not that simple. With their trade the Knicks have cleared cap room for the upcoming offseason. In the summer they will have $28M in order to build a team around Carmelo Anthony. They will also have a top draft pick as they are a dismal 5-32 so far this season.
Both the Cavaliers and Thunder make out like bandits in this deal too. Both teams were expected to be the best teams in their respective conferences, but injuries and the need for adjustments have plagued both teams so far.
Cleveland receives a great scorer in J.R. Smith who is always ready to explode for a big night. They also get Iman Shumpert who will serve not only as an offensive threat, but also will play a role on defense. Maybe getting Dion Waiters out of town is the shake up or spark the Cavs need to start playing up to their potential. One thing is for sure, Cleveland now has some explosive bench scoring and lots of potential in a young Shumpert.
Dion Waiters, who is averaging 10.5 PPG in 23.8 minutes per contest this season, is now heading to Oklahoma. The 4th pick of the 2012 Draft will serve as instant offense alongside one of the league's best duo's of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Thunder will now have an increased scoring load in order to help them chase a higher seed for the Western Conference playoffs.
Not only is today's trade possibly the biggest of the year, it may also be the best. Every team benefited from the deal, not just one. Time will only tell us who the real winner of the trade is though. Maybe the Knicks will build a championship caliber team through free agency, or maybe the Cavs' and Thunder's new players will be able to lead them to a championship.