But yes: after nine of months of rumors that LeBron could go to Los Angeles, the Cavs just absorbed Clarkson's deal (worth $25 million over the next two years) and made it much easier for the Lakers to sign two max superstars this summer.
And given his history of always persevering through whatever discomfort, it simply wasn't going to happen.
Just like that, the Cavs traded almost half their roster, got substantially younger and more athletic and wedged themselves back into contention to make a fourth straight Finals appearance against Golden State. I feel like they made some good moves. Both teams recognized that they had to make a move or face being trapped with failing teams and bloated contracts. On the overall, we have to look at ourselves and our focus and what we are doing rather than what other people are doing because if I remember in the summer, it was the same thing when that deal (Kyrie Irving moved to Boston) was done in the summer, everyone went insane (about) those two teams, now it's between them and blah, blah, blah.
"We were really anxious that what was going on on the floor and sort of our culture in the building that we were marching a slow death", Altman said. Both players are bound to their most familiar people and spaces and if they intend to finish their careers on high notes there probably aren't any better landing spots.
When minutes are reduced, the whining increases, but the good teams, or at least those who know how to manage any issue, keep it in-house. The Cavaliers gave Iman Shumpert to the Sacramento Kings; Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to the Jazz; Dwyane Wade back to the Miami Heat; and Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye to the Los Angeles Lakers. None of the new acquisitions were in uniform against the Hawks, but James and Korver were more than enough.
Now that the dust has settled, let's suss out the fantasy winners and losers from Cleveland's trade-deadline wheeling and dealing. But I just want to be where I'm wanted. "We were really anxious about what was going on on the floor and with our culture in the building".
UNC Takes Shot at NC State before Showdown with Duke
Berry, Maye and Theo Pinson were all key players on a national championship team, and I keep expecting them to play like it. ET inside the Dean Smith Center, and feature ESPN analysts Rece Davis, Seth Greenberg, Jay Bilas and Jay Williams.
Perhaps a less experienced and less mature DeRozan would have maintained a different posture in a previous incarnation, but he's fully aware of what's required and how teams must take care of their own business and avoid the temptation of worrying about others.
Here's what we learned from the win. Harden had 11 assists and seven rebounds.
There are two ways to look at the L.A. element of this story. The Lakers have a game that night in Minnesota, the final night before the NBA All-Star break, prompting the change. The Toronto Raptors and the Kings inked a trade deal for guard Malachi Richardson to go to the Raptors and forward Bruno Caboclo to the Kings.
"That's a hard one, " said Ujiri. The trade deadline was just a reminder that laughing at LeBron's teams is fun for a while, but it's actually a lot more fun to watch LeBron's teams make all the critics look ridiculous. We have to take another step, right? He is a real talented kid. "I wasn't on the team plane". There were little things Bruno needs to deal with that I think he'll get better at. The games start coming at a feverish pace, so it's not the two days off like we were used to, but we'll figure it out.
"We're still on the outside looking in".
"We want LeBron to be here long term", Altman said.