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Instant Reaction: Cavaliers Acquire Hill & Hood, Continue Facelift

Spencer Davies offers his thoughts on Cleveland’s other pair of moves and the roster makeover at the trade deadline.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers did not mess around Thursday.

Already having made a significant trade in the noon hour, general manager Koby Altman completely revamped and restored the Cavaliers roster.

Going for a full-on locker room clear-out, the Cavaliers executed two more separate trades. The first was a three-team move that sent Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to the Utah Jazz, as well as Iman Shumpert to the Sacramento Kings. In return, Cleveland landed Rodney Hood and George Hill to bolster a brand new backcourt along with Jordan Clarkson.

In another deal, Dwyane Wade was moved to the Miami Heat in exchange for a heavily protected second-rounder in 2020. Furthermore, that pick was sent by the Cavaliers to the Kings. In any case, it was a classy gesture to Wade, who by all indications wants to finish his basketball career where it started.

So, in summation, it’s a total facelift. They shipped off six of their players, brought in four fresh faces, and created two roster spots for potential buyout signings. We already broke down how Clarkson and Nance Jr. will fit in, so let’s take a look at how Hill and Hood can help the reeling Cavaliers.

For starters, Hill is the only player over the age of 25 that is coming to Cleveland, meaning the veteran experience isn’t totally gone for this roster. As far as what he brings to the table, it’s simple: He’s heady. What has happened in Sacramento this season isn’t indicative of how he plays when he’s at his best.

It was a difficult situation for Hill with Dave Joerger electing to go for the youth movement in the midst of a rebuild. Now with the Cavaliers, he can be assured of his role as a starter on a team with LeBron James and championship aspirations. Playing alongside the King should serve well for him too, considering Hill is the league’s top three-point shooter at a 45.3 percent clip.

In the final year of his contract before becoming a restricted free agent in the offseason, Hood has an opportunity to shine in Cleveland and perhaps earn himself a higher pay day than he was on track for. Between knick-knack injuries and inconsistent nights, there’s been ups and downs with the fourth-year guard throughout the year. Coming on board along with his former teammate Hill, it wouldn’t be surprising to see those two play with one another in some sets.

Hood is a streaky shooter, but when he gets hot, he’s tough to stop. The former Duke Blue Devil has made it a point to be more aggressive this year and his confidence seems to be growing as he improves as a three-baller, knocking down nearly 39 percent of his perimeter attempts.

The motivation to bring these two players in was simple: Surround LeBron with shooters. It’s the style that won them the 2016 NBA Championship and they went away from it this year with a roster who couldn’t do that. The spacing should be better. The transition and energy should be better. Heck, the defense should even be better.

Never mind the contracts and the guaranteed salaries, for now. Adding those two to the young, energetic duo the Cavaliers brought in from Los Angeles makes this team on paper arguably better and certainly more full of youth.

It’s up to this group internally, however, to determine what direction they go in.

Spencer Davies is a Deputy Editor and a Senior NBA Writer based in Cleveland in his third year with Basketball Insiders. Covering the league and the Cavaliers for the past five seasons, his bylines have appeared on Bleacher Report, FOX Sports and HoopsHype.

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