That was only the first trade for Cleveland. Later they orchestrated a three-team deal with the Kings and the Jazz which saw Rodney Hood and George Hill on their way to Cleveland with Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose going to Utah. The Kings acquired Joe Johnson from Utah and Iman Shumpert and a second-round pick from the Cavs.
There is a story behind that pick, too, as Cleveland acquired it Thursday when they traded Dwyane Wade back to the Heat. The whirlwind of moves, all made in about the span of two hours, left the NBA world reeling. It made all the other moves on the day virtually irrelevant despite the fact there were some notable moves made that will help teams both in the present and the future.
Even Randle’s rollicking, Earl Campbell drives aren’t as productive as highlights make it seem. The Lakers have scored just 1.02 points per possession when Randle drives, 207th among 278 guys who have recorded at least 50 drives, per Second Spectrum. (The numbers barely budge if you isolate Randle’s shots, or drive-and-kick attempts from teammates one pass away.) He has gotten a little greedy; Randle has passed on only 15 percent of drives, one of the lowest figures in the league. He is making the wrong play a lot, and costing the Lakers points. Randle is a good passer, even at full throttle. He should pass more!
That opportunity is coming. Indiana is in a good financial position. There will be some cap space this summer — not enough for a max deal, but more than $10 million — and in 2019, the team is slated to have only rookie deals and Oladipo’s $21 million on the books.
Front-office executives around the league expect that the Pacers will be a player on the restricted free-agent market this summer, where some talented players could be the victims of a league-wide financial squeeze. That would allow Indiana to bring in talent at a reduced cost. Aaron Gordon and Marcus Smart are bigger names expected to draw interest from the Pacers, and there could be bargains with the likes of Yogi Ferrell, Montrezl Harrell and Patrick McCaw.
The Pacers were active at the trade deadline, seeking to leverage their cap room as part of three-way trades, willing to take on a bad salary in exchange for draft picks. Nothing panned out, but they will continue to explore using their cap room in trades at the draft and during this summer.