On a Monday night highlighted with marquee match-ups in the NBA World, the spotlight was quickly stolen by a few teams who were in need of desperate changes.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and New York Knicks are on the verge of completing a three-team trade. Most players in the deal have been in trade rumors for the past few seasons now and are almost on their way to new destinations.
According to Yahoo! Sports:
Cleveland receives: Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, and a future protected first round draft pick from the Thunder.
Oklahoma City receives: Dion Waiters
New York receives: Lance Thomas, Lou Amundson, Alex Kirk (will waive Amundson and Kirk), salary cap exception of nearly $6 million for Smith and $2.5 million for Shumpert, and a future second round draft pick from Cleveland.
The deal has been verbally agreed upon between the three teams. The Knicks will waive center Samuel Dalembert after failing to trade him.
The Zen Master, Phil Jackson, definitely has a plan up his sleeve as New York has been a major disappointment this season. This deal makes sense for them financially. They play in the East, but with the way they have been playing (if that's what you call it), the playoffs look like a long shot and they are building for next season.
Cleveland has also not lived up to expectations and has underperformed. LeBron James has been ruled out for the next couple of weeks (knee, back) and Kyrie Irving has had a nagging back injury. Kevin Love has played some of the worst basketball of his career after coming off a monster season in Minnesota with the Timberwolves.
Oklahoma City still sits outside of the Western Conference playoff picture, despite the return of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Although, Durant has had lingering injuries. It was clear they needed a third guy who can score and Waiters is not afraid to shoot the ball.