Cleveland Cavaliers Trade Chris “Birdman” Andersen To The Charlotte Hornets

The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded Chris Andersen to the Charlotte Hornets.

According to ESPN’s senior writer Brian Windhorst, the Cleveland Cavaliers have traded reserve center Chris Andersen to the Charlotte Hornets.

Andersen, who is in his 15th NBA season, signed with the Cavs in the offseason after the departures of Timofey Mozgov (signed with the Los Angeles Lakers) and Sasha Kaun (retired) in the offseason left the champs with a sizable gap behind Tristan Thompson at center. In 12 games, Andersen averaged 2.3 points, 2.6 blocks and 0.6 blocks per game while seeing the floor for just 9.5 minutes per contest.

Andersen, a reserve player for the Cavs, had infectious energy, hustle and toughness. Having played alongside LeBron James for two years in Miami, Andersen was a player who could appease the King with both his presence and his play.

Nonetheless, this trade should come as no surprise to anyone. Even considering the fact that Andersen is going to be out for the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in a non-basketball related incident in December.

It’s unlikely it came as a surprise to Andersen. According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, Andersen had this to say regarding the Cavs trading away his contract:

“They gotta do what they gotta do to make sure they push the team into that position where they can repeat, then that’s what they’ve gotta do.”

It would seem that this is what the Cavs have “gotta do”.

The Cavs have been aggressive in trying to trade Andersen, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Last week, basketball insider Sam Amico of AmicoHoops reported that two opposing NBA executives admitted in interest in trading for the contract of Andersen.

The reasons why a team would do this are plenty but the most likely reason is that a team was close to the NBA salary cap floor of $84.7 million. The Hornets weren’t one of those teams and their reasons for trading for Andersen are unclear, at this time, though Andersen has expressed a desire to play one more season and the Hornets lack a center with his level of NBA experience.

But what does this mean for the Cleveland Cavaliers?

The Cavs, who recently signed former second overall pick Derrick Williams to a 10-day contract, will likely sign him for the remainder of the season but still want to add more bodies for depth.

Williams, who has played a defensive-based game that sees him getting his points in junkyard dog fashion to this point, gives the Cavs a player who can play every position. However, because he doesn’t excel as a playmaker, the Cavs are still missing that from their roster.

Williams has played 21.0 minutes per game in two contests for the Cleveland Cavaliers. In those two games, James has averaged 38.5 minutes per game, 0.4 minutes higher than his average in January.

Even with Williams on the roster it’s not James who gets rest. Why? Because the second unit still needs him to play as a point guard for them to excel.

Williams takes some of Richard Jefferson’s minutes. Some of Kevin Love’s minutes.

One of the point guards the Cleveland Cavaliers hopes reaches a buyout agreement before March 1st, the deadline for players to sign with a team and still be eligible to play in the playoffs, will take some of James’ minutes. Or one of the current free agent point guards the team has been linked to.

That player could be Jose Calderon of the Los Angeles Lakers or Rajon Rondo of the Chicago Bulls, if it’s a buyout. If it’s a current free agent, that player could be Mario Chalmers, Jordan Farmar or, if healthy in time, Jarrett Jack.

Out of the five point guards listed, Farmar, Chalmers and Jack should be the best fits for the Cleveland Cavaliers second unit because they can create their own offense and capitalize while also being able to create for others.

What do you think of the Cleveland Cavaliers trade of center Chris Andersen to the Charlotte Hornets? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section or Twitter @KJG_NBA.

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