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Blockbuster Trade Sends Muslim Player Who Skipped National Anthem to OKC

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A three team trade between the Knicks, Cavaliers, and the Thunder will move J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to Cleveland, and Dion Waiters to Oklahoma City.

The Cavaliers had high expectations for the season after acquiring LeBron James and Kevin Love. However, so far they have struggled and trail the Bulls by six games. Last night they lost again, this time to the lowly Sixers, who won for only the fifth time this season. The Cavs hope the new additions will create a better mix.

Breitbart News reported earlier in the season that Waiters, who is a Muslim, stayed in the locker room during the National Anthem before one of the Cavaliers games.  “It’s because of my religion,” he told Cleveland.com that he missed the pregame ritual.  “That’s why I stayed in the locker room.”  The shooting guard later maintained that it was a big misunderstanding and that he loves his country.

Sports Illustrated reported that the deal will also send a future first-round pick to Cleveland from Oklahoma City, but is conditional on how Oklahoma City finishes over the next three seasons. The pick is top-18 protected in 2015 and top-15 protected in the 2016 and 2017.

The Knicks will obtain rookie center Alex Kirk and forward Lou Amundson from the Cavaliers, and forward Lance Thomas from the Thunder. Knicks president Phil Jackson said, “As our journey moves through this season, we will search for the type of players that fit the style we hope to exhibit for our fans. Our desire is to improve our ability to compete.”


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