Looks like Isaiah Thomas’ time in Cleveland is over, as the Cavaliers have traded the two-time All-Star to Los Angeles the teams announced Thursday (Feb. 8).
Thomas will be shipped to the Lakers, alongside forward Channing Frye, in exchange for two Lakers prospects: guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr.
In addition to players, the Lakers will also get the Cavaliers’ protected first-round pick in 2018.
For the Lakers, they pick up two expiring contracts — Thomas ($6.3 million) and Frye ($7.4 million) — allowing them to have $46.9 million in cap room this summer to make a run at a major free agent. Reports suggest LeBron James, if he opts out of his contract, and/or Paul George.
They can free up to $69 million in cap space if they do not bring back Julius Randle and stretch the $37 million owed to Luol Deng over five years.
Both Clarkson and Nance have contracts through 2019-20 and 2018-19, respectively, but the trade gives the Cavs luxury tax relief this season.
Thomas was traded to Cleveland by the Boston Celtics in August, as part of the shocking Kyrie Irving trade. However, because he was recovering from a hip injury, he played just 15 games for the Cavs, averaging 14.7 points. The Cavs were 7-8 when Thomas returned.
Thomas’ agent, Aaron Goodwin, told ESPN that his client’s style of play just didn’t mesh with that of LeBron’s, so the trade is actually a good thing
“He’s worked too hard to get back, and he’s a ball dominant player,” he said. “It’s LeBron’s ball, and this clearly wasn’t working. (Cavs GM) Koby (Altman) and I have had enough conversations where it was clear, with the way the system was going, it wasn’t beneficial for either party. This is a good opportunity for Isaiah.”