How the Paul George trade impacts the Cleveland Cavaliers

How does the Paul George trade to OKC for a surprisingly low (Victor Oladipo & Domantas Sabonis) return impact the Cavs?

On the plus side, George is now out of the weak Eastern Conference.

Not that he and the Pacers were a threat, the Cavs swept Indiana in this year's playoffs but Boston would've been if he was traded there. Now with George gone and Blake Griffin apparently staying in Los Angeles, the Celtics are in a crowded fight (Utah, Miami) for Gordon Hayward, who's hardly a difference maker by himself.

Conversely, the Cavs have also struck out in their efforts to grab George and Chris Paul, so Cavs should probably embrace "buyout" as the team's new strategy.

With no cap space and few trade assets, Cleveland's only route to improvement is if Dwyane Wade or Carmelo Anthony take buyouts and join LeBron for very small money.

And even that may not happen until midseason. Other expiring contracts who may shake free in 2018: Brook Lopez (Lakers), Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw (Jazz) and C.J. Watson (Magic).

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