Cavaliers Trade Clarkson to Jazz for Exum

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The salary-cap shedding portion of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ season is officially underway. On Monday evening the Cavs traded Jordan Clarkson to Utah in exchange for Dante Exum and two future second round picks. The reports came through via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Deal

According to ESPN, the two picks are San Antonio’s 2022 second round pick and Golden State’s 2023 second round pick. In addition, this allows the Cavs to have a $3.83 million trade exception per Bobby Marks of ESPN. 

Clarkson is making $13.4 million this season and is in his last season of a four year deal he signed back in 2016 with the Lakers. The Cavs acquired Clarkson in February of 2018 from the Lakers in a deal that included Larry Nance Jr. Cleveland sent back an aging Channing Frye along with Isaiah Thomas, who never quite fit with the Cavaliers. 

Love for Clarkson

Clarkson’s teammate, Kevin Love, is crushed by the move. This quote from Cleveland.com sums up Love’s feelings on the decision to deal Clarkson.

“I fell to the ground. This one hurts for me. That is my guy. We just hit it off when he got here a few years ago. He became a really close friend of mine. It’s really tough.”

Australian Bust

Looking at Exum, he has had a disappointing NBA career thus far. Injuries have plagued Exum, as he missed an entire season in 2015-2016 with a torn ACL. He’s averaged less than 20 minutes a game since his rookie season and has never averaged double-digit scoring. The 2014 draft class has only yielded two All-Star selections in Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic

It is unclear what the fit for Exum will be in Cleveland. They have stock in Collin Sexton and Darius Garland at the guard positions and are also high on Kevin Porter Jr. Kobe Altman may not have long-term plans for Exum, as they move was likely done to simply salvage something for the contract of Clarkson. 

Cavs Cap Situation

The Cavs are projected to have about $25 million in cap space this offseason. However, the 2020 free agency pool is not very strong. The Cavs at least two or three years away from looking like a playoff team. Continuing to clear space and obtaining assets with their expiring contracts will serve the Cavs well moving forward. 

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*Featured image courtesy of Desert News*

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