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Cavaliers shake things up

January 06, 2015 17:12:36 UK

Shooting guard J.R. Smith has left New York Knicks to join Cleveland.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert in a three-team trade.

Dion Waiters departs for Oklahoma City in a very interesting move for the Thunder and the Knicks take on various spare parts in a salary dump deal. Talented, but troublesome, Smith could well be a nice pick up for the Cavaliers who have struggled mightily to come up with a chemistry mix that works around LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.

Shumpert though may be the key as the former Syracuse star is a useful defender and that is something Cleveland has desperately needed all season.

Absence LeBron and Irving through injury and without Waiters who was pulled prior to the opening tip, the Cavaliers went into Philadelphia on Monday and lost to the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The win snapped the Sixers 0-14 start to the season at home and is something for the club to build on in what has been yet another very trying year in Philadelphia’s rebuilding process.

Waiters meanwhile joins Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City in a tacit acknowledgment from the Thunder management that trading away James Harden was a mistake even if the move was made for reasonable salary cap reasons. Unable to reach the summit in an increasingly competitive Western Conference, the trade adds another scorer to the Oklahoma City line up as the Thunder look to rebound from a slow start when both Durant and Westbrook were out of action.

The Cavs areĀ 6.50 to win the NBA Championship and Oklahoma can be backed at 10.00.

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