The Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t make any trades at last week’s deadline. Turns out they didn’t need to. Will their new players help the Cavs beat the NBA Odds this weekend?
So the NBA trading deadline turned out to be pretty quiet, after all. The Cleveland Cavaliers stood pat in the Eastern Conference; so did the Golden State Warriors in the West. But why make trades when people will come to your team for free? Both the Cavs and the Warriors will have new players in uniform this weekend – maybe that’ll be enough to make them solid NBA picks going forward.
Friday: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
The Cavaliers have already snapped up point guard Deron Williams (–1.2 BPM) after he was cut loose by the Dallas Mavericks. It looks like they’ll get center Andrew Bogut (–0.2 BPM), as well. Those minus signs are disheartening, but Williams can still get it done on offense, and Bogut is still a premium defender. Meanwhile, the Hawks got a little perkier when they added Ersan Ilyasova (–0.1 BPM) in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Saturday: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Chicago Bulls (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
As it turned out, the Bulls neither stood pat nor traded Jimmy Butler (+6.2 BPM) at the deadline. But they did send power forward Taj Gibson (–1.3 BPM) and swingman Doug McDermott (–3.0 BPM) to the Oklahoma City Thunder, acquiring prospect PG Cameron Payne (–6.7 BPM) as part of the return package. That’s a white flag being waved right there. The Clippers are almost completely healthy now that superstar PG Chris Paul (+9.2 BPM) is back, so watch out.
Sunday: Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
The Warriors have already clinched a playoff spot, but the big news in Oakland is the Kevin Durant (+7.9 BPM) injury – he’s out indefinitely with a hyperextended left knee. Uh-oh. Matt Barnes (–1.1 BPM) is coming over from the Sacramento Kings to help fill the void at small forward. Perhaps the betting market will overreact to Durant’s absence; the Knicks aren’t beating the NBA odds without Joakim Noah (+2.2 BPM) manning the middle, though.