It is only two days away before the NBA trade deadline and the Cleveland Cavaliers are still unable to get out of their current funk. The defending Eastern Conference champions have lost 13 of their last 20 games, most of them via blowouts, which made some analysts think that they would not even win the East this year.
The Cavaliers’ latest defeat was in the hands of the Houston Rockets, 120-88, at their home stadium of Quicken Loans Arena last Saturday. LeBron James was so “embarrassed” after the game that he told reporters the NBA should avoid featuring him and his team in nationally televised games “for the rest of the season,” as per ESPN. James only scored 11 points in the first three quarters before calling it a night in the final period.
Isaiah Thomas shared the same sentiment, saying that it was “another embarrassing loss,” during a post-match interview. Thomas said that “something” should change, but he does not want to “comment too much on it.”
With starting big man Kevin Love still out because of a hand injury and their mediocre defense staying the same, it seems like the Cavaliers’ struggles would continue beyond the trade deadline if the team does not make one or two key moves before then. Thus, many analysts believe that a major trade is looming for the Cavaliers.
The latest name rumored to be on Cleveland’s trading block is that of Thomas himself. CBS Sports’ Jack Maloney predicted that “the Cavs may just decide to cut the cord before the deadline” and trade the two-time NBA All-Star for “another point guard that could help them in the short term.”
Thomas, who turns 29 on Wednesday, has been a disappointment this season. Some pundits deem that he is still not 100 percent recovered from the hip injury he suffered last season, while others think that he simply does not mesh well with James’ style of play.
Aside from being a liability on defense, Thomas could not find his offensive groove as well. His current shooting percentages are the lowest in his seven-year career while his 4.1 assists per game is also the lowest since his Phoenix Suns days.
According to ESPN senior writer Zach Lowe, the Cavaliers have “vaguely” discussed a potential trade with the Charlotte Hornets that would send Kemba Walker and Nic Batum to Cleveland in exchange for Thomas, the 2018 Brooklyn pick, and $25 million more in salaries. Lowe said that the salaries might include either Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith or Thompson and Iman Shumpert.
There were also rumors that the Cavs are targeting Sacramento Kings point guard George Hill, with Thomas as a potential trade bait. However, the negotiations between the two sides have already fallen through, according to multiple reports.
With Thomas appearing to be a burden not only on the court but off it as well (following the rumored Kevin Love locker room controversy), it remains to be seen whether the Cavs are ready to move on from the supposed-to-be Kyrie Irving replacement this early.