Why NBA Scout Believes Cavs’ Trades Put Them ‘Over The Top’ In East


Feb 13, 2018

If you bought stock in the Cleveland Cavaliers last week and sold it today, you’d make a pretty penny.

Expectations for the Cavs have skyrocketed since last Thursday, when they went nuclear on their roster ahead of the NBA trade deadline, dumping five veterans and importing four fresh faces: Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Rodney Hood and George Hill.

Cleveland’s demolition of the Boston Celtics on Sunday in the transformed team’s debut has many wondering if the Cavs once again are kings of the Eastern Conference after looking dead in the water a week ago. At least one NBA scout believes so, according to a Bleacher Report article published Tuesday.

“I think these trades put them over the top to get out of the East,” the scout told B/R.

Another scout told B/R the Cavs now are “right back in contention” in the conference, despite trailing the Celtics by 5 1/2 games and the first-place Toronto Raptors by six games as of Tuesday.

Beyond those headline-grabbers, though, the two scouts vary in their assessment of Cleveland’s moves. One of the scouts isn’t keen on the Lakers trade that sent Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and the Cavs’ 2018 first-round pick to Los Angeles for Clarkson and Nance.

“I don’t think LeBron will like playing with Clarkson; he’s a scorer who had the green light in L.A.,” the scout said.

Both scouts are higher on the three-team deal that netted Hill and Hood, with one scout pointing out Hill is a “playmaker that spaces the floor” — a role Kyrie Irving played in Cleveland last season.

But the scouts agree that the Cavs’ infusion of youth — their average age has dropped from 30.1 to 28.8 — was essential on a club that “definitely needed a culture/chemistry change” and “did not like each other,” according to one scout.

There’s still plenty of time for things to go wrong, but at the moment, the league appears bought in on general manager Koby Altman’s overhaul.

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