NBA Trade Deadline Recap: Cavs make waves, Raptors deal Caboclo

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during a break in play during second half NBA basketball action against the Toronto Raptors. (Frank Gunn/CP)

Dave Zarum February 8, 20183:15 pm

From the SN Instagram account:

Dave Zarum February 8, 20183:13 pm

The 3:00 PM ET deadline has come and gone

Woj is reporting that the Los Angeles Clippers didn’t find a deal for DeAndre Jordan. The Memphis Grizzlies couldn’t find a trade scenario for Tyreke Evans and will now try to potentially re-sign him this summer. And the Boston Celtics will reportedly hang on to Marcus Smart and won’t be making any deals, either.

The big takeaway from the day: The Cavs reinvented their entire roster and enter the stretch run vastly improved— but created even more questions surrounding their off-season and the future direction of the club (read: without LeBron it’s not looking good…).

Locally the biggest shockwave was the Raptors moving on from Bruno Caboclo, who will likely be released by the Kings, sign with a G-League team for the remainder of the season, and spend his summer auditioning for teams to give him a second chance.

The deadline has delivered. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll have a “Winners and Losers” column wrapping up today’s moves on shortly.

Dave Zarum February 8, 20182:56 pm

There are reports that Joe Johnson will be waived by Sacramento (he was acquired as part of the three-way deal that sent Rodney Hood and George Hill to Cleveland). Johnson will presumably sign with a contender, and depending on how much playing time he expects, the Raptors would certainly be a nice fit…

Dave Zarum February 8, 20182:45 pm

T-minus 15 minutes until the deadline officially closes… The most notable players still on the market are DeAndre Jordan and Tyreke Evans.

Dave Zarum February 8, 20182:35 pm

It’s not a trade deadline until the stories come out about the Nuggets trying— and failing— to ship out Kenneth Faried and the $26+ million owed to him this season and next.

Craig Battle February 8, 20182:27 pm

Portland sends Vonleh and cash to Chicago

The Trail Blazers have traded Noah Vonleh and cash to the Chicago Bulls for the rights to Milocan Rakovic.

The move was made entirely to get Portland out of the luxury tax, and the Bulls have proven willing trade partners when cash is involved. On draft night in 2017, the rebuilding Bulls traded their second-round pick (which turned into Jordan Bell) for $3.5 million.

Dave Zarum February 8, 20182:22 pm

Remember to hit up Sportsnet’s trade tracker for a complete listing of all the deals that have gone down today.

Dave Zarum February 8, 20182:20 pm

Knicks land a point guard in three-team trade

The New York Knicks struck a deal with the Denver Nuggets for point guard Emmanuel Mudiay in a three-way deal that will see Doug McDermott go to the Dallas Mavericks and Devin Harris land in Denver.

I was very high on Mudiay when he was drafted three seasons ago. He’ll get an opportunity to see the floor in New York and see if there’s an opportunity for him there going forward.

Dave Zarum February 8, 20181:55 pm

Bruno update:

According to Kings beat writer Jason Jones, Sacramento is reportedly planning to release Caboclo.

Dave Zarum February 8, 20181:50 pm

My Bruno reaction:

In the final year of his deal, Bruno’s future in Toronto was always up in the air. He’s shown a lot of improvement working under Jerry Stackhouse in the G-Leauge, becoming a more consistent three-point threat and, more recently, redefining himself as a potent defender.

In making this trade, the Raptors get a young player under contract from one more season— which is better than letting the Caboclo experiment end with literally nothing to show for it.

But I wish all the best for Bruno in Sacramento. I hope he gets to see the NBA floor and audition for teams down the stretch this season. I don’t know if he will, but the crap he gets from major sections of the Raps fan base is ridiculous.

The Raptors failed Bruno Caboclo.

The more you look back on the details of his tenure here— from the moment arrived— the more clear it becomes. The team has learned from their mistakes in taking in a raw player like Caboclo, let alone one who underwent such a culture shock coming to the NBA, and Raptors staff members have told me as much in the past.

Bruno still has a ways to go, and may never develop into an NBA pro. Or he very well could. The Raptors never provided the right chance to find out.

Dave Zarum February 8, 20181:43 pm

ESPN Stats with a good depiction of how much younger and more athletic the Cavaliers got today:

Dave Zarum February 8, 20181:29 pm

Raptors trading Bruno Caboclo to Sacramento


Dave Zarum February 8, 20181:16 pm

Wade returns to Miami

Make that six Cavaliers traded in the last hour.

Dwyane Wade is headed back to Miami in exchange for a “heavily protected” second round pick.

The Cavs have entirely rebuilt their roster and are now neck and neck with Riverdale for number of plot twists per hour.

Dave Zarum February 8, 20181:09 pm

Cavaliers still dealing, get George Hill and Rodney Hood in three-team trade

Hold your Cavs takes for a moment. After sending Isaiah Thomas to the Lakers, Cleveland has now reportedly dealt Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to Utah as part of a three-team trade with Sacramento that will send point guard George Hill and Rodney Hood to the Cavaliers.

Hill immediately addresses the Cavs point guard void and is a quality starter, if not a game-changer. But he comes at a hefty price tag: $20 million this season, $19 million the next, and a partially guaranteed $18 million in 2020.

Hood, 25, should help Cleveland’s perimeter scoring and is a noticeable upgrade over J.R. Smith (who isn’t?). He’ll be a restricted free agent.

We knew that Cleveland would be active today, and they’ve delivered so far.

Dave Zarum February 8, 201812:56 pm


Dave Zarum February 8, 201812:47 pm

For the record, the irony of this Isaiah Thomas trade opening up the door for LeBron and another marquee star *coughPaulGeorgecough* to join the Lakers this summer is not lost on anybody.

Dave Zarum February 8, 201812:39 pm

Dave Zarum February 8, 201812:39 pm

In this story for published just moments ago, Isaiah Thomas’ agent spoke candidly about the poor fit alongside LeBron James:

“He’s worked too hard to get back, and he’s a ball dominant player,” said Thomas’ agent, Aaron Goodwin. “It’s LeBron’s ball, and this clearly wasn’t working. Koby (Altman) and I have had enough conversations where it was clear, with the way the system was going, it wasn’t beneficial for either party. This is a good opportunity for Isaiah.”

Dave Zarum February 8, 201812:33 pm

Great deal for the Lakers, by the way.

They open up cap space by getting rid of Clarkson for two expiring contracts— and now will have the cap space for two max contracts either this summer or not. They’ve also obtained a first-rounder (there’s a good chance the Lakers will have to surrender their own first-rounder to Boston or Philly, so that’s huge),

Thomas may benefit from a change of scenery, and you can always use a big who stretches the floor like Frye can. Both will reportedly remain on the team, but hell even if L.A. were to cut both, they’d still come out on top.

Dave Zarum February 8, 201812:28 pm

Check out Sportsnet’s trade tracker for a list of all the NBA trades today.

(Translation: I don’t really want to talk about James Ennis being traded to the Pistons).

Dave Zarum February 8, 201812:23 pm

Isaiah Thomas is a Los Angeles Laker

Well, that escalated quickly.

Turns out that Cleveland will be sending Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye to the Lakers for Clarkson and Nance Jr.

Thomas has been flat out awful on the court since returning from his hip injury, which has limited his ability to do what he does best and fearlessly attack the basket to create opportunities.

Normally his elite scoring ability offsets the fact that he is an F-minus defender, but if he can’t knock down shots— Thomas is shooting 36 per cent from the floor and 25 per cent from deep— his value is extremely limited. And this trade is proof.

To make matters worse, Thomas has been extremely vocal calling out his Cavs teammates and coaches when talking to the media, which likely plays a part in Cleveland deciding to move on from him after just 15 games.

It’s hard to recall a player’s worth dropping as quickly as Thomas’ has.

Cleveland will also send their own 1st round pick (…not the more-valuable Nets pick) to L.A. as part of the deal.

Once again Cleveland now has a major hole at point guard— they will likely try to fill it using Clarkson (or a veteran acquired on the buyout market), but the former Laker is more of a combo guard. LeBron James’ presence as a facilitator obviously takes some pressure off a player like Clarkson having to conduct the Cavs’ offense.

So, in essence the Cavs traded all-world point guard Kyrie Irving for Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, and the Brooklyn pick.


Dave Zarum February 8, 201812:10 pm

Cavaliers make a move…

…But it’s hardly the big splash they needed. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavs will acquire Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson from the Los Angeles Lakers— good, serviceable role players— giving the team a boos in both the front and backcourt. Both are good enough to start for the Cavaliers, or to give them a scoring (Clarkson) and defense/energy (Nance Jr.) boost off the bench.

No word yet on what Cleveland had to give up in the deal.

Dave Zarum February 8, 201811:59 am

Raptors reportedly linked to DeAndre Jordan

The Clippers and Cavaliers were previously reported to be looking for a third team to help balance salaries in a potential Jordan-to-the-Cavs move. The Raptors have the young players and manageable contracts that Los Angeles is seeking in any Jordan trade, but it remains to be seen if the Raptors are trying to swoop in and land the two-time All-Defensive team member— a surefire upgrade over Jonas Valanciunas at centre— or something more minor involving spare parts.

We’ll keep you updated as things develop.

Dave Zarum February 8, 201811:40 am

Spurs targeting Avery Bradley

One impact player likely to be dealt today is newly-acquired Clippers guard Avery Bradley, who came to L.A. from Detroit as part of the Blake Griffin trade.

Bradley is a legitimate two-way threat who’s earned a reputation as one of the NBA’s top perimeter defenders .

Marc Stein reports that the San Antonio Spurs are among the teams most actively pursuing Bradley, who’s contract expires at the end of this season, and have discusses swapping long-time shooting guard Danny Green.

The Clippers are seeking a first-round pick as part of any Bradley deal, which appears to be a sticking point for San Antonio— and several teams— at the moment.

Dave Zarum February 8, 201811:32 am


Dave Zarum February 8, 201811:29 am

We have two players on the move so far in the 2018 trade deadline. Will we get anywhere near the whopping 43(!) players who switched teams in 2015?

Craig Battle February 8, 201811:17 am

For the first 10 years of his career Nelson was a member of exactly one team. In the last four years he’s been on five; in the last week he’s been on two.

The deal reunites him with Stan Van Gundy, his coach from the Orlando days.

Dave Zarum February 8, 201811:12 am


Okay, it’s 35 year-old point Jameer Nelson (acquired by Chicago from New Orleans in the Nikola Mirotic trade) going from the Bulls to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for centre Willie Reed (acquired by Detroit as part of the Blake Griffin deal), as reported by Yahoo!’s Shams Charania.

With injured Pistons starting PG Reggie Jackson still, well, injured, Nelson gives Detroit a bit of backcourt depth.

This one doesn’t move the meter much, but at least we have the first trade in the books.

Dave Zarum February 8, 201810:45 am

What will the Raptors do?

The Toronto Raptors want to improve their 25th-ranked three-point shooting rate but without any logical trade assets (no first round pick this year, league rules won’t allow Norman Powell to be dealt until the off-season), and a deep rotation playing in synch and at an incredibly high-level, any roster changes may not come until the off-season.

Last year the Raps acquired P.J. Tucker on deadline day, but were quiet the two years before that. Here’s a look at the Raptors deadline history over the past decade:

Dave Zarum February 8, 201810:37 am

Lakers shopping role players

The Lakers are looking to unload salaries as they gear up to clear cap space and pitch marquee free agents in the summers of 2018 (LeBron, Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins) and 2019 (Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler).

As O’Connor notes, it looks like it will be difficult for teams to offload pricey/lengthy contracts (Nance Jr. is still on a rookie deal, but Clarkson is due around $12.5 million/year until 2020) which could impact the number and type of trades we see around the NBA today.

As teams are more and more money/cap-conscious, front offices will have a harder time rectifying bad contracts via the trade market than ever before.

Dave Zarum February 8, 201810:06 am

Cavaliers-Clippers still working on DeAndre Jordan trade

The Cavs will be one of the more desperate teams today, with plenty of needs to address and questions surrounding both the short and long term direction of the franchise (read: with or without LeBron James).

Jordan, who has a player option for $24 million next season, would help heal at least some of Cleveland’s defensive wounds, but a third team would almost be necessary if a deal were to get done.

Perhaps the Cavs’ greatest challenge today will be their brutal cap situation and a truckload of regrettable, burdensome contracts. Isaiah Thomas ($6 mil) and Channing Frye ($7 mil) are expiring contracts that a rebuilding team like the Clippers would seek, along with picks (and young prospects–oh yeah, the Cavs don’t have any of those).

There is zero incentive for Los Angeles to add the kind of contracts they would have to acquire from Cleveland to balance salaries in a potential Jordan deal. Tristan Thompson ($18 mil/year until 2020) , J.R. Smith ($15 mil/year until 2020), Kyle Korver ($7 mil/year until 2020) and Jae Crowder ($8 mil/year until 2020) would have to be included, and the Clippers would take a step back by taking on any of those salaries.

Dave Zarum February 8, 20189:42 am

As we wait for the wheels to start moving, here’s some material to dig into in the meantime:

NBA Trade Rumours
The latest from around the Association, including updates on the Cavaliers plans, and what we can expect from the Raptors.

2018 Toronto Raptors Trade Value Ranking
I ranked the Raptors’ 12-man rotation in terms of trade value.

Raptors want shooting, but options may be limited
Michael Grange on the Raptors wants and needs in the trade market.

Dave Zarum February 8, 20187:58 am

The wait is over! Join me LIVE throughout the day as we track the latest NBA’s trade deadline news, rumblings, and up-to-the-minute analysis of every deal— real and rumoured.

Weigh in using the comment section below, or hit me up on Twitter (@DaveZarum) and have your voice heard.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.