In 2013, Chris Andersen’s arrival helped give LeBron James and the Miami Heat a jolt, lifting LBJ to his second NBA championship in an epic seven-game series against San Antonio.
This offseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers brought Andersen in as a free agent, hoping he could help deliver LeBron his second NBA title to his home state.
Despite things not working out on the court for Andersen this season, the “Birdman” could still be helping matters in a roundabout way.
Andersen, 38, played in just 12 games for Cleveland this season before going down with an ACL tear in December.
His career might be over.
But he was in the news again on Monday, as he was traded to the Charlotte Hornets for a top-55 protected 2017 second-round pick. The Cavaliers also sent cash down to owner Michael Jordan and the Hornets in the deal.
Charlotte, which is fighting for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, waived Andersen immediately.
Basically, as Sam Amico reports, the deal had the Cavs giving Charlotte some cash now for luxury tax relief later.
More interestingly, Amico of FOX Sports Ohio also is reporting the Cavaliers are not nearly done in advance of the trade deadline
Amico says the Cavs “plan to aggressively explore more trades as the league’s February 23 deadline nears, the source told Amico Hoops.”
LeBron has reportedly backed keeping around 10-day contract contributor Derrick Williams for a longer deal.
Other names are certain to pop up in the rumor mill (Carmelo Anthony, anyone?), especially given Kevin Love’s uncertain injury situation. Among the biggest needs is back-up point guard, where rookie Kay Felder has played in 34 games. Coach Tyronn Lue has even used Williams there already in a big-lineup experimentation.
If the Cavs are able to find someone to bring them over the top again, LeBron can, in part, thank his old friend, the Birdman.