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How Traded NBA Players Fared In Their First Game With New Teams

Isaiah Thomas and Jordan Clarkson made impressive debuts
by John Paulo Aguilera | Feb 12, 2018
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The NBA trade deadline was supposed to be an uneventful one—even Blake Griffin going to Detroit was kind of disappointing—until the Cleveland Cavaliers unloaded half of their active roster.

While there were other players who found a new home when the clock struck three last February 8 (3 a.m. Friday here), the Cavs made the biggest noise to salvage a season that was obviously on a downward spiral. And judging from their first game with these new players, CLE seemed to have successfully pulled of a last-minute heist.

The question is, does this hold true to other teams that also rolled the dice with outside talent?

Jae Crowder (Utah Jazz)

15 pts 5 reb 3 ast 1 stl 3 3pt

It was clear Crowder didn't really fit in with the Cavaliers and all the drama that came with it. In Utah, he can quietly return to form as one of the league's elite 3-and-D players.

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Emmanuel Mudiay (New York Knicks)

14 pts 10 ast

Remember when the Knicks were linked to Mudiay before the 2015 draft, only to select Kristaps Porzingis? Looks like both parties are raring to make up for lost time.

Elfrid Payton (Phoenix Suns)

19 pts 9 ast 6 reb

We might be looking at Devin Booker's long-term backcourt partner. Despite his versatility, Orlando let Payton go for a second-round pick. Maybe it has something to do with the hair.

Nikola Mirotic (New Orleans Pelicans)

18 pts 12 reb 4 stl 1 blk 3 3pt

The Pelicans aren't about to let this season go to waste after losing DeMarcus Cousins. With his two-way play, Mirotic is proving that he is more than just another Ryan Anderson.

Tobias Harris (Los Angeles Clippers)

24 pts 4 reb 1 blk 3 3pt

Instead of being dispirited after Detroit shipped him, Harris has continued what he has done in his career year. He may not be Blake Griffin, but that might actually be a good thing.


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Blake Griffin (Detroit Pistons)

24 pts 10 reb 5 ast 2 blk

The Pistons have gone 4-2 in games that Griffin played since his arrival. Those who said he would have a hard time coexisting with Andre Drummond must be eating their words right now.

Isaiah Thomas (Los Angeles Lakers)

22 pts 6 ast 4 3pt

Many felt sorry for IT, who is set to hit free agency, after Cleveland pulled a fast one on him. That was until he donned the Purple and Gold. Thomas has overcome bigger obstacles than this.

Jordan Clarkson, George Hill, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Clarkson - 17 pts 3 reb 2 stl 3 3pt
Hill - 12 pts 3 reb 2 3pt
Hood - 15 pts 3 reb 3 3pt
Nance - 5 pts 4 reb 3 ast

It's too early to say that the Cavs are back, but watching them dominate Boston was an encouraging sight. Also, it's always a good thing every time you're able to make LeBron smile like this:


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