About six months after trading Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, the Cavaliers trade him away for role players
The NBA trade deadline is upon us and the player movement is in full swing. Isaiah Thomas was injured when the Boston Celtics first dealt him to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving last August.
Since coming back from his injury, Thomas has played in 15 games for the Cavs averaging 15 and 5 on just 36 percent shooting from the field (per basketball reference). With the Cavaliers starting to slip in the win column, they were desperate to shake things up at the deadline.
Coming off an extended injury, rust was expected for the 5'9" point guard. Apparently the Cavaliers were expecting more - trading he and Channing Frye to the Los Angeles Lakers for Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, and a protected 2018 1st round pick.
The Cavs also dealt Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder to Utah for George Hill and Rodney Hood in a three-team deal with the Kings and they are looking to send Dwyane Wade back to Miami per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Apparently the Cavs regret their Celtic and veteran acquisitions.
Implications of the trade
For the Lakers, this trade makes sense. They lacked outside shooting and now get that in Thomas and Frye, though they also get older. They also cleared cap space for free agent acquisitions in the Summer (Paul George or... LeBron??). The pick is also valuable.
For the Cleveland Cavaliers, the future is less clear. This makes the Irving trade look like a big loss, even with Boston's pick they acquired.
Utah is likely tanking the best they can in the loaded Western Conference.
The Cavs were running out of patience with their team underperforming and Isaiah Thomas appears to have been their scapegoat. They look much different now with the Laker and Utah trades.
We will see if this shake-up re-energizes the Cavs for a push to convince LeBron James to stay. If not, they may have paved him a path to leave for Los Angeles.