CLEVELAND – When the Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving to the Celtics, they figured Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder would be two of the biggest assets in return.
Fast-forward six months and a first-round pick from the Nets is the biggest piece remaining from the blockbuster deal.
Cleveland will look to elevate the stock of the 2018 selection with a win on Tuesday night, as it plays host to Brooklyn at Quicken Loans Arena. The Nets enter play with a 20-41 record, the seventh worst in the NBA.
Head coach Tyronn Lue is still tinkering with his revamped roster, finding the best fit for new acquisitions George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood and Larry Nance Jr. With Kevin Love (hand) on the mend, a second scoring option behind LeBron James has yet to surface in the absence of Thomas, Crowder and Dwyane Wade.
Brooklyn is in the midst of its worst stretch, losing eight straight contests before topping the Bulls by 17 points on Monday evening. General manager Sean Marks was busy at the trade deadline, swapping Tyler Zeller for Milwaukee’s Rashad Vaughn before trading Vaughn for New Orleans’ Dante Cunningham.
The season series between the two teams is even, 1-1, but the Cavaliers have won nine straight at home in the matchup.
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
Online: FOX Sports Go
Radio: WTAM 1100 AM, WMMS 100.7 FM, La Mega 87.7 FM
Cavs probable starters: PG George Hill, SG J.R. Smith, SF Cedi Osman, PF LeBron James, C Tristan Thompson.
Nets probable starters: PG Spencer Dinwiddie, SG D’Angelo Russell, SF Allen Crabbe, PF DeMarre Carroll, C Jarrett Allen.
Cavs injuries: PF Kevin Love (left hand fracture – OUT).
Nets injuries: C Jahlil Okafor (illness – OUT), PG Jeremy Lin (knee – OUT), PG Isaiah Whitehead (G League – OUT).