Cavaliers Notes: Thomas, LeBron, Hill, Leonard

Isaiah Thomas believes the Cavaliers panicked when they sent him to the Lakers as part of a flurry of deals at the trade deadline, according to an ESPN story. Thomas, who was acquired from the Celtics in the offseason, played just 15 games for the Cavs before being sent to L.A.

“It was a tough situation I was being put in,” Thomas said. “It was — it was different. … It’s hard to get acclimated to a team halfway through the season. People don’t put in there that we had eight or nine new players. So it was basically a brand new team. … I’m in a new system. New team, new coach, new players. And then I’ve been off for seven months. So I got to get — individually, I got to for the most part get my rhythm back, get my timing back.”

Thomas, who will be a free agent this summer, said he has no hard feelings about his time in Cleveland and he is concentrating on his future with his new team. He added that he plans to “play my heart out and show the Lakers why I should be here long term.”

There’s more out of Cleveland:

  • LeBron James was revitalized by the trades because he knew he wouldn’t have to share the ball anymore with Thomas or Dwyane Wade, writes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. He adds that James prefers to control as much as he can, both on and off the court, and now has the freedom to initiate the offense any time he wants. Pluto has noticed a difference in James’ play and his on-court demeanor since he found out the trades were coming on the night before the deadline.
  • The addition of George Hill and Larry Nance Jr. has provided the defensive spark the Cavaliers needed, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The Cavs turned in one of their best performances of the season Saturday, holding the Grizzlies to 89 points while registering 13 steals and 35 points off 23 turnovers. “Obviously G. Hill’s hands, Larry’s length and athleticism allows us to kind of keep everything at bay,” James said. “Our league is all pick and roll. So when you’ve got a point guard and a center that can play two on two and the other three can kind of stay at bay, it helps out everybody.”
  • The Cavaliers would be very interested if the Spurs decide to part with star forward Kawhi Leonard, writes Sam Amico of AmicoHoops. Leonard reportedly has a strained relationship with the organization related to his lingering quad injury. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed this week that Leonard has been medically cleared to play, but is choosing to sit out until the pain subsides. Amico speculates that Cleveland would be willing to give up the unprotected pick it owns from Brooklyn as the centerpiece of a deal for Leonard.
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31 thoughts on “Cavaliers Notes: Thomas, LeBron, Hill, Leonard

  1. imindless
    imindless

    This further shows why lebron is a turd. Ball hog who only wants to pad his stats so he can become “one of the greats” sadly his record in the finals depicts someone that is inept at winning when it counts. Hopefully only a few more years of this drama queen.

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    • Z-A

      If you’re from Cleveland. How were the Kyrie solo years? Playoff runs?

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      • Thomas Swanson

        Poor Byron Scott. He had the worst record in NBA history with the Cavs, then again with the Lakers. Nobody talks about LeBron’s early years with the Cavs. I think Kyrie’s early years, and seeing the potential for a repeat with Lebron leaving again and having the no trade clause, had something to do with him asking to be traded. He hit the jackpot!

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    • Most star players want the ball in their hands. Its part of being a star player. You don’t become a star player by constantly passing the ball (unless your John Stockton). Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant always wanted the ball, are they ball hogs? Also, Jerry West was 1-8 in the Finals. Was he inept at winning?

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      • Thomas Swanson

        Guess you don’t remember Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc, Dennis Rodman, STEVE KERR, etc. They all played together and won 6 championships. M.J. won 10 scoring titles. Dean Smith taught M.J. how to be a team player. LeBron never went to college.

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        • To be fair, I was a baby when the MJ Bulls were a thing, so I don’t really remember them lol. Also, I don’t really understand your point. My point was that MJ wanted the ball in his hands, proved by his scoring titles, but no one is rushing to call him a ball hog. I’m not calling MJ a ball hog, I’m just saying that star players want the ball in their hands when the game is on the line. Does MJ, or even Kobe, not fit that bill? LeBron is currently doing the same thing but he’s somehow a ball hog?

          I mean LeBron seems like a team player to me. Passes the ball well and his court vision is unmatched in the league right now. His turnovers are high and he commits bad passes a lot but which star player with a high usage rate who actually moves the ball doesn’t. What bugs me is that people can never be satisfied by what LeBron does. In the beginning of his Miami stint and the first three years of his return to Cleveland, he wasn’t agressive enough and people called him out for being too passive and not willing to have the ball in his hands when it mattered most. At the end of his Miami tenure and this year, he had/has the ball in his hands when it matters and people call him a ball hog. While its sometimes deserved, people will always find something to criticize him on. Whether its him not being agressive enough or him being a ball hog or him not doing enough for his team or him not having enough trust in his teammates.

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          • Thomas Swanson

            M.J. was a great athlete, more than a basketball player. At North Carolina he wasn’t a superstar, and that helped him in his early years. The difference between M.J. and LeBron is that M.J. was a perimeter player, but could do everything. LeBron is not a perimeter player and has admitted as such. LeBron isn’t the only one stat stuffing in the NBA and that bothers me. I like it when they pass the ball 4 and 5 times before they shoot. It also bothers me guys like Jeff Green have to play for $1-$2 million so guys like LeBron can get their $35 million, and LeBron wants no max salaries for max contracts. Does he want the little guys to play for G League wages?
            I don’t think the Cavs will be in the Finals and I think it’s because LeBron doesn’t have Kyrie to help him anymore. I tried to tell people George Hill disappears in games. LeBron likes it because he doesn’t have to give him the ball. LeBron misses Kyrie!

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            • wsj238y2f6

              MJ was never a “perimeter” player by any means. He was an athlete with unique abilities not unlike LBJ. In fact, the only reason you can consider him a “perimeter player” was from 94-97 when the NBA reduced the 3-PT line to entice shooting and scoring because it had become so stagnant that they were losing viewership and ratings.

              We Weill never be able to accurately compare the two talents. Argument should end there. To compare the two is apples to oranges in retrospect because of the types of ball they play/played which are two different styles entirely in two completely different eras of the NBA.

              One is the GOAT in his own respect and the other will be the GOAT in his own. Not to mention one played a completely different position his time in the league than the other. Outside of that this petty back and forth nonsense that persists about the two of them is the reason why people who are truly just fans of the sport get so annoyed by people who think their the sports world’s next best analyst…or NBA talent.

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              • Thomas Swanson

                M.J. was a perimeter player. His pullup jumper was one of his better shots. I saw too many M.J. games. You have the right to your opinion. I’ll stick to the opinion of the “professional” writers.

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    • BSPORT

      Lebron already is one of the greats. He took teams to finals that shouldn’t have been there other than his play. I don’t like how he controls his teams and think he’s a bit of a crybaby. One of the greats, he’s already got that position cemented.

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      • Thomas Swanson

        LeBron bought his championships. First Wade, Bosh, and LeBron got together. Then he joined Kyrie, got the Cavs to trade for Love, and got Gilbert to agree to spend whatever it takes to win a championship. Now that Kyrie left, the superteam is gone and so is the title.

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        • Who cares how he got his championships? A championship ring is a championship ring. Kobe needed Shaq and then had Gasol/Bynum to help win his rings. Paul Pierce needed Garnett and Allen. MJ needed Pippen to come into his prime (and it helped that they eventually added Rodman). Magic had Kareem and James Worthy. Larry Bird had Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish. Not that the Warriors needed KD to help them win a ring, but it sure as hell didn’t hurt that he was around last year. A ring is a ring though.

          I don’t disagree that Cleveland’s championship hopes are basically gone without Kyrie though. Cleveland only has a chance since they’re still the favorites to come out of the East, but I’d still take Houston or Golden State over them. Although I’m sure that even if Cleveland somehow managed to pull an upset and somehow win the Finals, people would still find a way to say that some other player from the Cavs won them the championship.

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          • Thomas Swanson

            Some day Golden States reign will end, just like the old Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, etc. I like the teams that put their rosters together through the draft. Just like the Lakers now. If they keep there core together and get a couple free agents not named LeBron, they’ll deserve a title, like GSW has deserved theirs with Klay, Steph, and Draymond. I don’t see the Cavs in the Finals. If they did, I wonder how many rich people will bet $1 million against them. I’m also wondering how many of these diehard Cavs fans will cry when they don’t make the Finals and Gilbert doesn’t give in to LeBron. Cavs fans won’t admit it. Look how happy Kyrie is now. He wouldn’t be happy in Cleveland. He is an all-star!

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          • Thomas Swanson

            Kevin Durant and LeBron need asterisks besides their championships.

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        • x%sure

          Again. Players cannot buy championships; the term applies to the franchises.
          Also the title is not gone.
          He just makes things up

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    • KnicksCavsFan

      LBJ has never been a selfish ball hog. You can argue hrs selfish in other ways but hrs mite rush willing to pass the ball. In fact, sometimes he’s been criticised for being too much like Magic and not enough life Jordan or Kobe.

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      • Thomas Swanson

        When you play half a quarter and you are the only player who touches the ball besides the guy passing it to you from out of bounds, that’s a ballhog!

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        • x%sure

          No, that’s a fantasy… from the least reliable reporter on this site. But imindless likes it of course.

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  2. Michael Chaney

    The Cavs didn’t panic when they traded IT. He was a big part of the reason that they had to tear apart their roster, and it’s not a coincidence that they’ve been significantly better since they got rid of him.

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    • Agreed. Thomas was obviously not in game shape yet and was too outspoken considering how he had been in Cleveland for only a few months and was not playing well.

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      • Michael Chaney

        Yeah exactly, the way he acted when he was on the team didn’t really sit well with me. Especially since he always just blamed other people when he was probably the biggest problem of all. I hope he does well in the future, but he was just an awful fit with the Cavs.

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      • Aircool

        I think it was far more significant that he was a defensive liability and an ineffective ball hog. Not that I’m disagreeing with your observations, but they weren’t the primary concerns I don’t think.

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        • Thomas’ ineffective ball hog is him not playing well. Even in Boston, he had the ball in his hands a lot. What made him so effective (and hid the ball hog-ness) was that he was able to successfully drive to the basket and hit the tough shots. When he’s hitting those shots, his passing ability shines as teams collapse on him in the paint. In Cleveland, he wasn’t hitting those tough shots in the paint so teams aren’t as worried about him down there. If teams aren’t as worried about him driving to the paint, there isn’t going to be much help defense which means the shooters aren’t going to be open for kick-outs.

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          • x%sure

            That’s it I think, he lacked that extra oomph to get the ball up against bigs, and opponents did not have to worry as much. And he annoys, and prefers his own instincts to structure. But his instincts were good, including for passing.

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  3. dust44

    The Cavs did in a way panic. But it was the best thing for an aging miss cast roster. They panicked because they saw it and had to try to get younger and more athletic quickly. Best thing they could of done. Now they need to get a real star with LeBron. Leonard would definitely fit perfect with LeBron

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    • Thomas Swanson

      Indeed! The Pacers traded the rights to Kawhi for George Hill in a draft day trade. Bad move!

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  4. joemoes

    What’s the difference clarkson or IT feels the same. Both have good qualities and bad qualities. IT’s good qualities just aren’t what the Cavs needed.

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  5. BucSox

    The best the Cavs could offer for Kawai (excluding LeBron of course) is the Nets 1st and Love. Not saying the Spurs would take that or the Cavs would even offer it. Of course this would be contingent on the Cavs acquiring another 1st from somewhere.

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