The Cleveland Cavaliers remade their roster Thursday, shipping six players to four different teams in exchange for Rodney Hood, George Hill, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.
If that seemed drastic, well, that’s what happens when you drop 14 of 22.
“I was impressed,” Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan host Andy Baskin said on Taz & The Moose. “I didn’t think there were going to be that many moves. I think at one point over the weekend, he would have traded anybody, including LeBron James. I think Dan Gilbert was trying to figure out where they were going to go, but I think in the end, Dan realized, ‘If I have any chance to try to salvage this relationship with LeBron, we’ve got to get younger and we’ve got to get more athletic.’ And that’s exactly what they did. The need the energy they just brought in.”
While Baskin isn’t ready to proclaim the Cavs the best team in the East, he does think these moves could put Cleveland over the top.
“I definitely think it could work,” Baskin said. “I also think that Dan Gilbert put himself in a spot – and so did Koby Altman – where if LeBron decides to leave, the bottom’s not going to fall out in the end. But I definitely think LeBron can mesh with these guys and mesh pretty quickly with them.”
Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, and Kevin Love, of course, are still with the team, so it wasn’t a complete overhaul.
“Kevin Love’s hurt, but he’ll be back,” Baskin said. “The core is still the same.”
As for James’ future beyond this season, time will tell.
“I think Dan Gilbert’s done everything he can to try to keep him,” Baskin said. “If he doesn’t, I know the city of Cleveland – I know the fans of Cleveland – appreciate the one championship that LeBron left. I don’t think they’ll be shocked if he leaves, but I do think Dan Gilbert has done enough as much as he can to try to salvage anything he can to keep LeBron in Cleveland.”