Isaiah Thomas’ Cleveland Cavaliers stint hasn’t gotten off to the best of starts, with the team mightily struggling to find consistency in the defensive end and get wins against teams above .500, and with several reports stating that his teammates are kind of blaming him for their recent woes.
Apparently, most Cavs players haven’t been quite happy with Thomas’ ball stopping, ball hogging and shot selection, having the rock on his hands almost as much time as LeBron James but making a fool of himself everytime he tries and attack the lane.
With Thomas on the hardwood, the Cavs have a horrid defensive rating of 120.9, and just to get an idea of how poor this is, the worst defensive rating in NBA history is 114.4. Besides, he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and considering this situation and a possible LeBron James departure, he’s pretty much a lock to leave the team anyways.
The Cavs have struggled in the defensive end of the hardwood all season long and it’s not just Thomas’ fault, although his season averages of 15.3 points and 3.9 dimes on 39% shooting and 27% from three are nothing to brag about. Anyways, trading him might as well be the best choice for everyone. They are 7-13 in the last 20 games and 4-6 in the last 10.
It's obvious that Cleveland struggling with Isaiah Thomas on the court and maybe is time to react until it's too late.
Today, we’re going to talk about the 5 best trade destinations for him.
5. Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies have finally entered tank now mode, and with Mike Conley set to miss the rest of the season with an Achilles injury, they should also part ways with Tyreke Evans, who’s been on a roll since the season began.
Cleveland has been reportedly quite interested in Evans for a while now and considering they currently don’t have a starting point guard, Thomas would be a huge addition for a sluggish Grizzlies team.
4. Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings didn’t stand a chance when the season begun and things haven’t changed a bit so far, but they still have a couple of productive veterans in George Hill and Zach Randolph that should be on their way out.
Having said that, Cleveland would thrive with Zach Randolph off the bench, and he’d be thrilled with the chance to finally winning an NBA Championship rather than racking up a DNP every other game because of the Kings policy to rest a couple of veterans per game.
3. Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks had a slight shot of making the postseason early in the campaign, but it’s pretty safe to say that those chances have clearly vanished with the team consistently embarrassing themselves at home.
Isaiah Thomas would be a great fit next to Dennis Smith Jr, as the rookie’s quite athletic but hasn’t had much of a shooting stroke, so the Cavs could pursue Wesley Matthews as a very good 3 and D asset, while also helping Dallas offload Nerlens Noel’s deal and who knows? Maybe even resign him as a low risk - high reward pickup.
2. Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte isn’t going anywhere and those reports stating that the team was even willing to move Kemba Walker prove they lack hope for this season, so that means pretty much every player on their team is up for grabs at the right price.
Also, the team has been trying to move Nicolas Batum for a while now, and even though he’s having a very bad season following an elbow injury, he’s still a very complete and smart player that could help a contending team like the Cavs. Besides, a Kemba Walker - Isaiah Thomas backcourt would be really fun to watch.
1. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls need to move some contracts before the trade deadline, especially if they’re set to fully enter tank mode to try and land a top 5 prospect for the upcoming draft and improve their already impressive young core of Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine.
In order to do so, they need to part ways with Bobby Portis and Robin Lopez. In this deal, they’d also get Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye. Thomas would play without the urge to win and he’d slowly work his way back into game shape, while Chicago would have more money to spend in the offseason as well.