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The Cleveland Cavaliers nearly had DeAndre Jordan

The Cleveland Cavaliers nearly had DeAndre Jordan

He also acquired guards Rodney Hood and George Hill in a three-team trade that sent Crowder and Derrick Rose to the Utah Jazz, and Shumpert and Joe Johnson to the Sacramento Kings.

With the Cavaliers ownership's approval and Clippers front office's blessing, the two sides reportedly were nearing a deal that would have sent Jae Crowder, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert and Cleveland's 2018 first-round pick to L.A. for Jordan, so long as they could find a third team willing to take the two years left on Shumpert's contract and another draft pick in exchange for a center to replace Jordan.

Cleveland management has to be ecstatic with how the new-look Cavs have played in the three games since the National Basketball Association trade deadline.

But in a new story by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, things could have turned out very differently.

Before executing the moves that seem to have revitalized LeBron James and the defending Eastern Conference champions, general manager Koby Altman was close to making what might've been the biggest splash of all.

Understandably, Clippers general manager Michael Winger didn't want Shumpert's contract clogging the team's salary sheet.




Winger asked if he could communicate with Shumpert about a potential buyout, but Altman wanted the talks to be more advanced before granting that permission.

Clippers president Lawrence Frank, Winger and Altman had talked for weeks on a trade, but they got nowhere. Jordan, meanwhile, stayed put in Los Angeles.

And that's why Jordan is not with the Cavs, and still with the Clippers.

The fear is that a temporary boost devolves into the same defensive and chemistry problems that plagued them for four months, the Celtics and/or Toronto Raptors upend them earlier than expected, and James becomes convinced that a divorce with the Cavaliers in free agency is for the best, after all.

To think, there could be a different world out there in which DeAndre Jordan is on the Cavs, and Wade never makes it back to Miami this season. What's more, he had to decide: Were the Cavaliers motivated to extend Jordan's contract at over $100 million?

The Cavs had been at the center of most talks when it came to a possible Jordan trade, and everything nearly came full circle, but now that both teams have gone their separate ways things have seemed to work out alright.


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