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Did Cavs really improve at trade deadline? ‘NBA 2K18’ weighs in


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The Cavs swapped out nearly all the expendable parts of their roster that surround LeBron James in unprecedented fashion, trading away six contributors and a first-round pick Thursday afternoon in exchange for four new players.
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Needless to say, this new Cavs team will be completely different from the one it supplants. NBA 2K18 can provide some insight on whether Cleveland’s fortunes are now brighter, or if its place as the perennial Eastern Conference favorite has come to an end.

After making the moves in NBA Jermaine Kearse Authentic Jersey 2K18, the Cavs’ awful defense has somehow only gotten worse. The team going into Thursday ranked (an undeniably overrated) 12th in the league in defense in the video game. Factoring in the changes, they’ve dropped to 16th.

The end of the 2018 franchise-tag period gives us a better idea of the high-end players who will be available when the negotiating period opens March 12. What follows is a subjective ranking of the players who remain on track to hit the market. In some cases, the analysis has been adjusted from our original 50-player list to reflect new information. Keep in mind that some of them will re-sign with their former teams in the coming days, or with a new team if they already have been released.

After two years under the franchise tag with combined earnings of nearly $44 million, Cousins will experience a rarity for upper-level quarterbacks: a true bidding war for his services. The Redskins have moved on to Alex Smith, whose acquisition will become official when the new league year begins March 14. Cousins could set a new bar for NFL contracts, perhaps in excess of $30 million annually.

The Falcons need an established pass-rusher, especially on the interior of the defensive line, with Dontari Poe gone after one season and the team cutting Derrick Shelby. Also, Adrian Clayborn, who led the Falcons with 9.5 sacks last season, is bound for free agency and expected to sign elsewhere. Bennett had 8.5 sacks and 24 quarterback hits last season and has 54 career sacks.

There is a natural tie between Bennett and the Falcons. Coach Dan Quinn used to be the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach in Seattle and has a close relationship with Bennett. Defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel used to be a defensive assistant in Seattle and has close ties to Bennett as well.
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The parameters involved in such a trade are unclear. The last time the Falcons traded for a veteran starter, they surrendered two sixth-round picks to Tennessee for left guard Andy Levitre.

In a recent trade for a pass-rusher, the Dolphins acquired Robert Quinn by sending a midround pick to the Rams, likely a third- or fourth-rounder, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Rams and Dolphins are also swapping late-round picks.