The shocker of trade deadline day was pulled off pretty early on, with the Cleveland Cavaliers dealing Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a 2018 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson. Shortly after that trade was consummated, ESPN's show, "The Jump", was on the air.
During that program, Thomas' agent, Aaron Goodwin, texted host Rachel Nichols and said Thomas would likely push for a buyout if he was not a starter for the Lakers. That alone was a topic to discuss, let alone how the Cavaliers parted ways with the key player they received (Thomas) last summer's blockbuster Kyrie Irving trade.
Goodwin talked with USA Today's Sam Amick yesterday and explained how his client is taking the trade, how Thomas hoped to stay in Cleveland and responded to that exchange with Nichols:
Q: Did it surprise you how sideways everything became (in Cleveland)? I mean, Isaiah fights for seven months to get back, and he has his future on the line, the whole situation had to be frustrating.
A: You’re absolutely right. He fought to get himself in this position so he could be healthy and play. To kind of be hindered a little bit was frustrating. Although he was trying to fight through it and trying to be a good team player, this was not his style of play. I think that it became clear over the course of the last few weeks that (the Cavs) would have to figure out some type of way to utilize two players at the same time, and it wasn’t going to work.
Q: He said the day before the deal that he wanted to be somewhere where he was wanted, and that he was tired of being traded. Have you talked to him, and what’s his reaction to the deal?
A: His reaction is exactly that. He wanted to be somewhere where he’s wanted, and he wanted to be in Cleveland.
Q: So the question of Isaiah starting is getting louder now, so what’s your understanding of his role once Lonzo’s healthy since everybody knows that’s important to him?
A: I have no idea what the role will be for either of them. That’s really going to be up to (coach) Luke (Walton) and the Lakers. My concern is only that Isaiah gets into L.A., and is afforded the opportunity to continue to play on the level he’s been playing. Other than that, it’s not in my control.
Q: Is it safe to assume, though, that he wouldn’t be coming to town if there wasn’t a certain level of comfort with the opportunity? You guys could have forced a buyout and looked at other options.
A: Once he spoke to (Lakers president of basketball operations) Magic (Johnson) and (general manager) Rob (Pelinka), he was ecstatic about the opportunity. It’s clear that he’ll get a chance to play, and play up-tempo like he has played throughout his career. And that’s all we can ask for. That was our biggest concern.
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