As of March 18, the Cleveland Cavaliers have played 14 games since acquiring Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West in exchange for six players. There are 14 games left in the regular season, so now is a perfect time to issue a â€œmid-termâ€ report card about the tradeâ€™s impact on the Cavaliers. Obviously, final grades will not be issued until the playoffs are over.
In the first game after the trade, the Cavs were not able to use their new players but they still managed to eke out a one point win over a Washington team that was without the services of injured All-Stars Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler. Since that time, except for one missed game by Szczerbiak and one and a half missed games by Wallace, the new Cavs have played in all 13 games. Cleveland went 7-6 in those games. Other than a 92-87 road loss to the Boston Celtics, Cleveland did not face any teams that would be considered legitimate championship contenders; in fact, the majority of those games were against teams that will not even make the playoffs.