When you’re cooking up some great stuff, you don’t need anyone else to enter the kitchen.
That was the Cleveland Cavaliers at the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, as president of basketball operations Koby Altman refrained from making a deal.
And why bother? The Cavs (33-16) are the NBA’s hottest team entering their road game against the Brooklyn Nets. They’ve won seven straight and 15 of 16. No one has been better in 2024.
Besides, Altman made his bigger deals in the offseason, when he landed starting wing Max Strus in a trade with the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs. The Cavs also signed forward Georges Niang and he too has become a regular part of the rotation.
Along with those two, shooting guard Sam Merrill has emerged as a new but important 3-point shooting piece in reserve. The Cavs didn’t trade for him, but it’s almost the same thing. They received a contributor that wasn’t a part of things last season. And they did it without giving up anything.
Mostly, the Cavs have proven to be a team with star power in Donovan Mitchell and a strong core four in Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. They also boast depth in the likes of Niang, Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Dean Wade and Merrill.
Coach J.B. Bickerstaff has brought it all together and Cleveland pro basketball is back on the map. You don’t mess with success, and that is where the Cavs are today. So, no deals, and that is just fine. The Cavs have zero drama, lots of teamwork and even more winning. When that’s the case, you go with what you have.