ATLANTA– LeBron James spoke to reporters about the mid-season, new-look Cavaliers Friday morning.
The Cavs traded six players away and added four news ones. They play the Hawks in Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“I want to give a shout out to my former teammates… I definitely wish all six guys the best,” James said.
Cleveland sent Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye to the Lakers, Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to the Jazz, Iman Shumpert to the Kings, and Dwyane Wade to the Heat. They also gave up their 2018 first-round draft pick, not the selection the Cavs got from the Nets.
In return, they gained Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. from the Lakers, Rodney Hood from the Jazz and George Hill from the Kings. The Cavaliers had the oldest team in the league prior to Thursday’s trades.
“We became a younger team. More athletic. We added some more shooting as well. We have to see how it meshes, obviously. But I like the pieces that we have coming in,” LeBron said. “It’s my job to get these guys integrated, on the same page as us.”
Clarkson, Nance and Hood are all 25. Nance was born in Akron and is the son of Larry Nance, who played with the Cavaliers from 1988 to 1994. He’s set to compete in the All-Star Game Slam Dunk contest next week at the Staples Center.
“It’s going to be some peaks and valleys, but I like what we’ve done,” coach Ty Lue said. “We’ll start playing good basketball at the right time, when it matters, going into the playoffs. I’m excited about the young guys we have. Putting it all together is going to be fun. It’s going to be a good ride.”
“Jordan and Larry add athleticism, energy and length to both ends of the court for us. This trade is also a reflection of our continuing commitment to invest in our roster in ways that help us evolve and compete at the highest level now and into the future,” said Cavs general manager Koby Altman, in a news release on Thursday.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, who sit third in the Eastern Conference, play the Celtics in Boston Sunday afternoon.