Ecstatic Larry Nance Jr. says he's 'upgraded' after trade to Cavs

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas

In an action-packed National Basketball Association trade deadline day, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman and owner Dan Gilbert have shipped out six star players including Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and Dwyane Wade - but LeBron James stays where he is.

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. "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", Altman said in a statement.

As the Thomas swap was being digested around the league, the Cavs completed a three-team deal with Utah and Sacramento, said a person with direct knowledge of Cleveland's moves.

HAWKS: Coach Mike Budenholzer says one reason the team bought out Marco Belinelli's was to give younger players, including rookie Tyler Dorsey, more playing time.

Watching from the West Coast, the defending champions took notice.

"I said is this fair to Dwyane? The ball was popping and everybody felt like they were in a good rhythm". "I want Isaiah to get his bounce back, get his spring back, get healthy". A lot of action. LeBron James and Paul George - and/or free agency in 2019. I think it was too much too fast with not enough sample size.

Thomas, who was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers, was originally scheduled to be at Hec Edmundson Pavilion on February 15 for the Huskies' game against Utah.

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The Philips Arena crowd was loud and in unison when Tristan Thompson went to the line to shoot two free throws in the first quarter.

Altman's renovation also included trading Wade back to Miami, where he'll finish his career with the franchise that drafted him and the one he put on the map by winning three titles - two alongside James, who was thrilled for him. It's a great organization to be a part of, but again, you know, I don't want people looking at this and (saying) like, 'Hey, because he said it's his happiness at the end of the day (that he's definitely re-signing)'. Maybe the team made one or two lateral moves swapping middle tier players in need of fresh starts.

The makeover was also aimed at placating James, who can become a free agent and leave Cleveland this summer.

It's been a roller coaster season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. "Now is the time, and I think what's interesting is we have a chance to come back from the All-Star break, let the dust settle, regroup, come back as a team, have a couple days of practice". "This trade really puts some wind in our sails". On Thursday, general manager Koby Altman said for that reason, "you really wanted to see it work".

Thomas seemed to sense his unusual stay in Cleveland was over. After not gelling early, the team went all-in at the deadline, seemingly overhauling the entire team with the exception of LeBron James.

"I'm exhausted of being traded". "Honestly. You know me, I just worry about my team, worry about us, what we gotta do to continue to get better".

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