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Cavaliers trade Alec Burks, add 2019 first-round pick in three-team deal

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This is a win for the Cavaliers

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers have done what many expected them to do ahead of the 2019 Trade Deadline - shed Alec Burks’ salary in exchange for a first-round pick and bad money. That has been accomplished.

That first-rounder is lottery protected, but the Cavaliers get a major win in adding a second first-rounder to their draft stores. In exchange, they pay a hefty price. Brandon Knight is owed $15 million next season, but ultimately, the only way they’ll feel that pain is in Dan Gilbert’s pocketbook. In the deal, the Rockets are getting ex-Cav Iman Shumpert.

Marquese Chriss is conceivably a good asset after being selected No. 8 overall by the Phoenix Suns in 2016, but he’s been so disappointing in his early career that the Rockets declined his team option. He likely won’t spend time with the Cavaliers past this season for multiple reasons.

The Cavaliers are sending out a second rounder in the deal as well, but for the price of a 2019 first-rounder, it’s an easy price to pay. The Cavaliers had added six second rounders since the season started via trade, and this kind of deal is why you work to add them. Those picks are excellent wheel-greasers to get trades done, and that’s on display here.

The Cavaliers have now added two first-rounders and five second-round picks this season, at the low cost of George Hill, Kyle Korver, Rodney Hood and Sam Dekker. Koby Altman’s early tenure has been shaky, but his asset acquisition phase has gone quite nicely.

The hard part is turning those assets into a winner. Let’s see how the Cavaliers do.

Recently acquired Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin are headed to the Rockets in the deal. Everybody send your condolences to Justin Rowan.