Today was, to say the least, a very exciting day in the National Basketball Association. The trade deadline proved to be quite an event, resulting in a number of moves that could impact the landscape of the league. For the Eastern Conference leader and an NBA Title contender like the Boston Celtics, even though they didn’t make any moves, the deadline is of great interest. There were a couple moves in particular that meant a great deal to Boston.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance, Jr.

  Los Angeles Lakers receive: Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, 2018 first round pick

For starters, this trade pretty much solidifies the Celtics as the winner in the Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving trade. When the trade went down, there were a lot of people saying that the Cavs had won the trade, but Thomas never found his stride in the Land. His injury held him out for most of the season and when he returned, he struggled to mesh with LeBron James. He was also not a favorite in the locker room. Just fifteen games into his stint with the Cavs, Thomas wore out his welcome. Meanwhile, Irving is becoming just as beloved as Thomas once was in Boston and it looks like his career is just getting started.

More importantly, this trade gives Cleveland a reset from the failure that was the Isaiah Thomas experiment. I’m not pointing fingers at Thomas or anyone else in Cleveland because I don’t know the true dynamics of that team or locker room. What I do know is that the Cavs needed to restart if they hoped to get anywhere significant this season. Clarkson (14.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.3 apg) and Nance (8.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.4 apg) give the Cavs a pair of 25-year-old energy guys and a desperately needed youth movement. Clarkson won’t do much to help the Cavs defensive problems, but Nance is a big body inside. The trade was a success for the Lakers who cleared enough CAP space to go after James and Paul George in free agency, but Cleveland also got the reboot that could save their season.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Rodney Hood, George Hill

  Sacramento Kings receive: Iman Shumpert, 2020 second round pick (via Miami), Joe   Johnson

 Utah Jazz receive: Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose

Here’s part two of Cleveland’s retooling. This season, Crowder (8.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 42% FG) is nowhere near the same player he was in Boston the few years. Give some credit to Brad Stevens, but Crowder also didn’t play that well. He started to pick it up of late, but the Cavs were still ready to move on. There were also reports that Crowder didn’t like playing with James, which may have impacted his performance. Shumpert (4.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 27% 3PT) has been an up and down player his whole career, but it’s been a lot more down of late. For Rose (9.8 ppg, 44% FG), it has been another frustrating, injury-riddled season. He almost retired earlier this year.

At 25, Hood is another young wing player (16.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 39% 3PT) who provides scoring. He’s fought injuries but has had a career year. George Hill (10.3 ppg, 2.8 apg, 45% 3PT) is a cagey NBA vet. He provides stability at point guard and defends well. With this trade, the Cavs cleaned house and got younger.

As long as LeBron James is in Cleveland, they will always stand in the Celtics way. With a remade roster and a big overtime win over Minnesota last night, Boston can expect a rejuvenated Cavaliers team to be right on their coattails.

  1. Detroit Pistons back in business

If you can count on Stan Van Gundy for one thing, it’s to make a splash at the trade deadline. The Detroit Pistons acquired Reggie Jackson in 2014-15 and Tobias Harris in 2015-16. Last week, the Pistons made a blockbuster trade for Blake Griffin. The Pistons are 5-0 since the trade, and Griffin (21.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 6.3 apg with Detroit) has been spectacular. The Pistons are still without point guard Reggie Jackson, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury. So Stan went shopping again today. He acquired old friend Jameer Nelson (5.1 ppg, 3.6 apg) from the Chicago Bulls and James Ennis (6.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 49% FG) from the Memphis Grizzlies. These aren’t huge deals, but they are the kind of deals that round out winning rosters. The Pistons currently sit in ninth place, .001 percent behind Philadelphia. Detroit could work their way into the playoffs and cause problems thanks to their seventh-ranked defense.

This article first appeared on and was syndicated with permission.


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