For all their NBA trade deadline maneuverings, the Cleveland Cavaliers weren’t able to land DeAndre Jordan. But it wasn’t for lack of trying, it seems.
While several reports surfaced that Cleveland was pursuing the Los Angeles Clippers big man, a deal never materialized, as the Cavs instead acquired Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., George Hill and Rodney Hood in two significant trades.
The Clippers and Cavs were very close to pulling the trigger, though. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Cleveland general manager Koby Altman had approval from ownership to send this package to L.A. in exchange for Jordan: Jae Crowder, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert and the Cavs’ 2018 first-round pick.
The Clippers were willing to accept that package, per Wojnarowski, but there was one hang-up: They didn’t want another shooting guard and sought a third team to take on Shumpert’s contract and send them a Jordan replacement at center. That third team never materialized, and the trade broke down.
Altman was undeterred, though. The young GM had met with LeBron James and vowed to make “dramatic changes” to the roster in some fashion, Wojnarowski reported, and he did just that: Frye and the Cavs’ first-rounder were shipped to the Los Angeles Lakers along with Isaiah Thomas in the Clarkson/Nance deal, while Crowder went to the Utah Jazz and Shumpert to the Sacramento Kings in a three-team deal that netted Hood and Hill.
So far, Altman’s decisions appear to have paid off: Cleveland has won four straight — including wins over the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder with the overhauled roster — to move to within six games of the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors.
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