Westward Bound

This wasn't just a fire sale. The Cleveland Cavaliers blew up their entire roster. Will this improve their playoff chances this summer? More importantly, does this make them more or less likely to be able to retain LeBron? King James appears bound for the California sun, but can Cleveland's front office appeal to his sense of hometown roots? The Cavs were not playing around as, in less than an hour, they traded six players and a first round pick to four teams for four new players in four separate deals. After all was said and done, the Cavs added George Hill, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Derrick Rose, Dwayne Wade and their own 2018 first-round pick.

Cleveland came out of the gates dealing IT to the Lakers and this was the move that demonstrated that the Cavs are still serious about winning this season. With Kevin Love sidelined with a broken hand for at least another four weeks, Nance shores up the Cav's front court. They're going to need that depth if they want to get a shot at Golden State. First, they're going to have to likely go through the Celtics (and their old teammate Kyrie who will be fired up beyond belief) as well as the Raptors, who will be out for blood after getting no respect against the Cavs last season. No one is going to miss Thomas given his horrendous defense and incessant whining off the court on everything from game plans to teammates.

With the acquisition of George Hill, the Cavs finally managed to fill their most glaring hole at point guard. Hill is a true point guard, which they've lacked all season. In addition they received Rodney Hood who has been hitting at a 39% clip all year and should help LeBron on the perimeter. In their final move of the hour, the Cavs dealt the legendary D-Wade back to Miami where he clearly wants to retire. The Cavs will receive a (heavily protected) second rounder. More likely than not, this pick will materialize into jack squat. But if nothing else, the move was good karma.

So, what does this all mean for Cavs fans in 2019 and beyond? First off, they should be grateful. This is the era of superstars being traded for a couple pylons and some deflated balls (see Blake Griffin). The Cavs are now less dysfunctional with better depth at almost all positions. That's not to mention younger. Will this be enough to keep LeBron happy? The thing is, even in the worst case scenario where James goes to the Lakers; at least they got something for him and gave him a better shot at a championship for his last four months in Cleveland. To be honest, LeBron has looked unengaged since Christmas. Now he has no excuses and can trust his organization once again. And when he buys in, he is still the best player on the planet.

Unfortunately for the Buckeye state, I think LeBron is on his way to the west coast. He's clearly looking beyond basketball (see his executive producer credits) and is it really a choice between California and Ohio? I do hope King James doesn't sell out (again) but I can't really blame the guy. No one can.