Well, Cleveland! You got what you wanted. The Cavaliers were active participants in making roster moves Wednesday afternoon as the NBA Trade Deadline approached.
General Manager Koby Altman and the Cavaliers used separate trades to acquire PG/SG Jordan Clarkson and F Larry Nance, Jr from the Lakers, plus PG George Hill from the Kings and G/F Rodney Hood from the Jazz. Players the Cavs sent in return include Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert. Dwyane Wade was later traded back to the Miami Heat for a “heavily-protected” second-round pick in the 2024 draft.
But, one of the glaring problems the team continued to face was the lack of an interior defender. If you look at the players the team acquired in trades, none of them are interior threats. So the question remains, “How can the team improve its interior defense?”
With the trade deadline passed, the team must now look toward potential buyouts to acquire new players.
It is no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers are in rebuild mode and are looking to rid themselves of long, expensive contracts for veterans while acquiring short, expiring contracts. A potential buyout the team might have in its future involves former all-star center, Brook Lopez.
Lopez is a legit center standing at 7’0″ tall and would immediately make an impact in the team’s defensive frontcourt. Most importantly, Lopez, who would be the tallest defender on the roster, will be a threat to any team that once preyed upon the Cavs’ lack of interior defense. A move like this, along with the team’s roster shake-up at the deadline, would be the icing on the cake to improve the roster and make it resemble the dominant Eastern Conference powerhouse of years’ past.
Although Lopez’s skill set does not allow the Cavs to stretch the floor as they like to do, Lopez can remain in the paint to use his proven scoring ability down low, giving room to Kevin Love to stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting.
While there is no guarantee that the Lakers will make this move, Lopez needs to be at the top of the list of players the Cavaliers take a look at to fill one of the roster spots it has left. Lopez’s age, 30 years old in April, provides just a tad of youth the team appeared to look for at the deadline and his defense will undoubtedly improve the team and bring a sense of relief to the team knowing it can defend the paint.
Cavs fans and experts alike have clamored all season long that the team needed to bolster its defense. This is move to finally end all the arguments.
Get it done.