The Cavs not only hate Isaiah Thomas, they are trading him just months later after receiving him as a key piece in the Kyrie Irving trade. Now Thomas will play for the third team in less than a year. Thomas along with Channing Frye and a first-round pick will be sent to the Lakers in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance.
Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news:
Cleveland is sending Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye to the Lakers for Clarkson and Nance, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2018
Woj continues with a flurry of tweets. The first-round pick the Cavs are sending is their own in 2018. The pick is also protected. The protections have not been reported yet. The Cavs get an upgrade at point guard and power forward so you can see the motivation from their standpoint. This was a trade I had thought was possible except I thought the Cavs may prefer Julius Randle.
Isaiah Thomas is shooting 35 percent from the floor in Cleveland and is a total ball hog. Clarkson is scoring 14.7 points per game and is much more efficient shooting 46 percent from the floor. With the Cavs being one of the worst defensive teams prior to even when Thomas suited up for the Cavs, Thomas has clearly shown he is unplayable on the defensive end as well. Frye really hasn’t played much. Let’s be honest, Thomas’ real value with the Cavs comes as an expiring contract.
The main motivation for Los Angeles would be shedding the remaining three years of Clarkson’s contract for free agency to clear two max cap slots to add two superstars this upcoming summer. Clarkson had three years remaining on his contract and something the Lakers needed to shed. This trade could help the Lakers land Paul George and LeBron this summer now. Both Thomas and Frye are expiring deals.