Player movement - Cavaliers give up on Isaiah Thomas experiment

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.

Crazy how quickly business can change the landscape of the sports world. We already learned about the business of basketball recently with the dealing of Blake Griffin.

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.

With the trade deadline forcing teams to make moves, be sure to keep it locked to The Basketball Movement here and on Twitter @BBall_Movement.


Lakers fined $50,000 for tampering

Here is a weird one: The LA Lakers were fined because Magic Johnson complimented Giannis Antetokounmpo.

In an interview with ESPN, LA Lakers Team President Magic Johnson praised Giannis Antetokounmpo, earning himself a fine... for some reason. Johnson's quote is as follows:

With his ball-handling skills and his passing ability. He plays above the rim; I never could do that. But in his understanding of the game, his basketball IQ, his creativity of shots for his teammates ... that’s where we [have the] same thing. Can bring it down, make a pass, make a play.

...I’m just happy he’s starting in the All-Star Game because he deserves that. And he’s going to be like an MVP, a champion. This dude, he’s going to put Milwaukee on the map. And I think he’s going to bring them a championship one day.

This certainly seems like a harmless, even thoughtful gesture by Johnson. However, the league seems to think otherwise.

Magic Johnson's Lakers have already been hit with a tampering fine, the last one for $500,000 last August. It was discovered that they had been engaged in talks with Paul George's agent outside of the appropriate times.

The league is clearly demonstrating the seriousness with which they see these kinds of dealings. Be careful who you compliment, people.

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