Finally, the Cavs managed to get to the winter. These pale days of the mid-season. That means that you have few teams finished this season, looking at the draft and placed the “yard sale, everything must go!” signs. Dallas took Rondo, Houston picked up the Trojan horse Josh Smith, and Cleveland offered a humanitarian shelter to two Knicks refugees, Iman Amfert and JR Smith.
There are 2 possible gainers from this trade, Cavs are one them. They might just get the boost they needed to save their season, or at least to give David Blatt more time to see if he can turn this ship around.
JR Smith is far from being a humble school boy and has his destructive tendencies, however his best season were in Denver and the Knicks when they were playoff struggles. During those periods no one focused on Smith’s nonsense, but only on his ability to get off the bench and break rivals with 20 points in the final quarter.
Cavs still have the potential to finish the season with 50 wins, and they will be in the playoffs even with SpongeBob as a coach. Smith, who trains with LeBron during the summer (they know each other from high school), is an unstable scorer which doesn’t contribute in any other aspect of the game, but when he is hot, he can be worth few win. Don’t forget, it’s only been two years since he was elected as the sixth player of the season.
The other part of this trade is Iman Shumpert. Iman, which is still recovering from a shoulder injury, is the ideal player to complement the Cavs starting lineup. He can lead the ball in the offence and he is a quick and physical in defense. He takes only 6-7 shots per game and he is the guy that is first to every loose ball. Iman automatically becomes the best perimeter guard in Cavs roster. If he will manage to fuel Kyrie’s motivation, Cavs defense will improve drastically. The main drawback here is that for a relatively young player, he has a long history of injuries.
Bottom line: This trade did not solve Cavs main problem, but it is a step forward.