Cavs trade Waiters, acquire Shumpert, Smith
CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers announced Monday night an agreement to trade guard Dion Waiters to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a three-team deal that also involves the New York Knicks.
In return, the Cavs will receive Knicks guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert. The Thunder will also send the Cavs a protected first-round pick and guard Lance Thomas to the Knicks.
Along with Waiters, the Cavs are sending center Alex Kirk, forward Lou Amundson and a 2019 second-round pick to the Knicks — who are expected to waive the two players from the Cavs along with Thomas and center Samuel Dalembert.
Smith has a player option worth $6.4 million this summer. The Cavs wanted Shumpert in the deal and agreed to take Smith’s contract as part of the trade, sources said.
One source added that the Cavs are still looking at big men and could be "in play" to obtain one, either via free agency or trade.
Sources said Monday the Cavs remain interested in Memphis Grizzlies center Kosta Koufos and Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov.
Waiters, 23, is averaging 10.5 points and 2.2 assists in 33 games this season. He was expected to start Monday’s 95-92 loss at Philadelphia before being alerted he was about to be dealt. The Cavs were already without Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, both out with injuries.
Shumpert, 24, is averaging 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He has missed time recently after dislocating his shoulder last month. Shumpert is a strong wing defender, a need the Cavs have been looking to fill since trading rookie Andrew Wiggins in the deal for Kevin Love in August.
Smith, 29, is scoring 10.9 points, his lowest average since 2005-06. He won NBA Sixth Man of the Year honors two seasons ago.
LeBron James was briefed on the trade, and team officials discussed his willingness to play with the sometimes difficult Smith before pulling the trigger on the deal, according to ESPN.