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No NBA team overhauled its roster at the trade deadline more drastically than the Cavaliers, who shipped out six current or former rotation players: Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder, Iman Shumpert, and Channing Frye.

According to general manager Koby Altman, all those deadline deals were as much about repairing the culture in Cleveland as they were about seeking better on-court results. “We were really worried that what was going on on the floor and sort of our culture in the building that we were marching a slow death and we didn’t want to be a part of that,” Altman said on Thursday, per Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

Acknowledging that the veteran players acquired in last summer’s Kyrie Irving trade never really fit in Cleveland, Altman said that those pieces still had enough value to allow the team to go out and acquire players it liked. Altman also hopes Thursday’s deals will re-energize his star player, LeBron James, who has been visibly frustrated this season.

“I don’t want to say he didn’t believe in this group and want to be careful in saying that because he’s going to compete every night and try to get whatever teams he’s on to the Finals,” Altman said of James, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “But I wanted to see a renewed sense of joy in him, and being around him the last 24 hours has been great.”

Here’s more from out of Cleveland:

  • Here’s Altman on the motivation behind the Wade trade with the Heat, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com: “As I started to get closer to deals to bring back youthful wings that I wanted to see play right away, I realized that this was going to be a role for Wade where minutes are going to be reduced, and reduced, and reduced. … I said, ‘Is this fair for Dwyane? Is this something that he signed up for?’ And so, we explored that with Miami. I wanted to make sure that I talked to LeBron about that. Because Dwyane did come in large part because of LeBron, and because of the situation here. And we wanted to give Dwyane the option. ‘Do you want to be a part of this? No one’s telling you that you have to go by any means, but, we want to give you a chance to go home.’ I think he and his representation were very, very appreciative of that.”
  • While LeBron hasn’t spoken publicly about the Cavs’ deadline deals, multiple reports suggest that he’s on board with the moves. One league source called the moves “win-win” in terms of competing now and constructing a roster built for long-term success, per Vardon. Meanwhile, Sam Amick of USA Today writes that the “behind-the-scenes reaction from James’ inner circle was a resounding thumbs-up.”
  • LeBron didn’t commit to the Cavs beyond this year before the team completed its series of moves, according to Vardon, who adds that Altman and owner Dan Gilbertdidn’t ask the four-time MVP for that sort of commitment.
  • One league executive who spoke to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News believes the Cavs significantly improved their chances of re-signing James this offseason as a result of their deadline-day trades. “Even if they don’t win this year, they’ve given themselves room to grow,” that exec told Deveney.
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe takes an in-depth look at the Cavaliers’ deadline, and is generally in favor of the team’s moves, questioning only the decision to give up a first-round pick while taking on Jordan Clarkson in the swap with the Lakers. Citing league sources, Lowe also notes that the Cavs wouldn’t have been able to acquire Avery Bradley from the Clippers without surrendering a first-round pick.
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This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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