NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN detailed the amazing work done by Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman at the trade deadline last week, and here are some of the highlights:
1. Prior to the trades, Altman had a face-to-face meeting with Cavs star LeBron James. Altman told James he saw the Cavs’ mismatched roster and intended to do something about it. Eventually, Altman later told James the trades for Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson (from the Los Angeles Lakers) and Rodney Hood (from the Utah Jazz) had been finalized.
2. Altman also spoke with James about the trade that would send James’ close friend Dwyane Wade to the Miami Heat. James clearly had no issue with it.
3. Initially, Altman had received approval from ownership on a trade that would send Jae Crowder, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, and the Cavs’ own first-round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for DeAndre Jordan. The Clippers were good with the deal — provided the teams could find a third team to take Shumpert. While the Clippers did close in on a third team, the deal eventually fell through as the Cavs grew concerned with the 2018 player option on Jordan’s contract.
4. The three-way trade between the Cavs, Jazz and Sacramento Kings that landed Hood in Cleveland, Crowder in Utah and Shumpert with the Kings nearly was called off because the Kings wanted Georgios Papagiannis to be included. The Cavs didn’t want him or the salary-tax issues his $2.3 million contract would create.
5. Altman spoke with the Jazz about acquiring Hood and the Kings about George Hill … then came up with the idea of a three-way that would land both players in Cleveland. “Utah was willing to do the deal for Crowder and a minimum expiring contract,” Wojnarowski wrote. “Cleveland could choose — Derrick Rose or Wade. The Jazz planned to waive either player. Altman told the Jazz he’d let them know which player he’d be sending them on Thursday morning.”
6. Altman connected with James again on trade-deadline day, just before the Cavs boarded a flight to Atlanta. The GM let the star player know the trades had been completed. According to Wojnarowski, Altman and his staff hugged and high-fived. Here is the entire piece with considerably more detail.