For those of us looking to see someone else in the NBA Finals other than the Cleveland Cavaliers, yesterday’s trade might just ensure that dream becomes a reality. The Cavs, along with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Wizards, worked out a three-team, five-player trade on Friday.
ESPN reported the details:
-Point guard George Hill to Milwaukee from Cleveland.
-Forward Jason Smith to Milwaukee from Washington, in addition to a 2021 second-round pick.
–Matthew Dellavedova and John Henson, in addition to a 2010 first-and second-round draft pick to Cleveland from Milwaukee.
–Sam Dekker to Washington from Cleveland via Milwaukee.
The deal was time-sensitive — teams needed to make sure players were signed to rosters by 6 p.m. on Friday so they could be used in other trades in February.
What does the trade mean for the Cavs? Well, after dominating the league and ending up in the finals every year since 2015, to say the Cavs have had a disappointing season thus far is an understatement. Ranked 14th in the Eastern Conference with a 5-20 record, the Cavs have been a mess since losing LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Aussie-born Dellavedova played for Cleveland from 2013 to 2016, winning the championship with them in 2016. Fans are happy to see “Delly” return, but he’s been largely ineffective for the Bucks, averaging 1.5 points in the last ten games, seeing action in six of those for an average of 9.5 minutes of play per game. Henson is injured and out for an undetermined amount of time with a wrist injury.
The Wizards didn’t fair much better than the Cavs in this deal. Dekker has been inactive with an ankle injury and hasn’t seen game action since 5th November when Cleveland recorded a 100–102 loss to the Orlando Magic.
It’s the Bucks who stand to reap the rewards of the deal. Hill brings a wealth of playoff experience over his veteran career and Milwaukee, ranked 2nd in the Eastern Conference behind the Toronto Raptors, stand to gain plenty of salary cap space to fill out their roster in next year’s draft.