Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly tried to acquire DeAndre Jordan from the Los Angeles Clippers right up until the day of the NBA trade deadline, but something happened that caused the deal to fall through.

Nobody wanted Iman Shumpert.

In an outstanding behind-the-scenes look at how the trade deadline turned into a frenzy for the Cavs, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Cleveland GM Koby Altman received the go-ahead from ownership to trade Jae Crowder, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert and the the team’s 2018 first-round pick for Jordan. Shumpert has $21 million remaining on his deal and has not been very good, so the Clippers weren’t having it.

Clippers general manager Michael Winger explained to Altman that LA didn’t want another shooting guard. He hoped to find a third team that would take Shumpert and his $21 million with draft compensation, and have the Clippers get a center back. Altman and Winger agreed to make more calls to try to find a third team to make the deal work. Winger wondered whether Altman would let him talk to Shumpert’s agent about a possible contract buyout, but Altman wanted trade talks to be further along before granting that permission.

Clippers president Lawrence Frank, Winger and Altman had talked for weeks on a trade, but they got nowhere. The Clippers wouldn’t take Tristan Thompson, JR Smith or Shumpert in a deal, and that never changed. As Wednesday wore on, Altman became more convinced that a deal with Los Angeles was within reach — only not with the Clippers.

When that deal fell through, the Cavs went back to some of their other trade scenarios. They had already determined that Isaiah Thomas had to go, which makes sense when you consider the reason report we heard about Thomas’ relationship with LeBron James.

Ultimately, Altman understood that making a deal with the Lakers would help pave the way for LeBron to sign with them as a free agent this summer, but that didn’t stop him. If James wants to go to the Lakers, they’re going to find a way to free up the cap space needed to sign him. The Cavs had no reason not to make the deal that they felt was the best one for them, especially after they were unable to land Jordan.

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This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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