The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded guard Isaiah Thomas, center Channing Frye and their own 2018 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr.
Cleveland acquired Thomas from the Boston Celtics this summer in exchange for All-Star Kyrie Irving. In 15 games with the Cavaliers, Thomas averaged 14.7 points, 4.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 27.1 minutes while shooting a career-worst 36.1 percent from the floor and 25.3 percent from 3-point.
The Cavaliers have struggled to post a record of 7-10 since Thomas returned from injury in early January. Despite the team’s struggles, Thomas said on Wednesday he was “tired of being traded” and wanted to remain on the Cavaliers.
“I like it here,” Thomas said after Cleveland’s OT win against Minnesota. “It hasn’t been as planned, but I definitely want to be here. We definitely have a real chance to win an NBA championship and I want to be a part of that.”
Thomas’ agent, Aaron Goodwin, told Cleveland.com this trade is a “good opportunity for Isaiah” and the situation in Cleveland “clearly wasn’t working”.
Clarkson, drafted in 2014, and Nance Jr., drafted in 2015, have played their entire careers with the Lakers. Clarkson, at six-foot-five, will add size to the Cavaliers’ backcourt. He’s averaging 14.5 points, 3.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 23.7 minutes.
Nance Jr. returns home to Ohio, where he was born during his father’s playing career with the Cavaliers. Nance Jr. is averaging 8.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 21.9 minutes this season. Nance’s father had his No. 22 retired by the Cavaliers in 1995.
Frye took to Instagram to say his goodbye to Cleveland, saying “business is business … I’m excited.”
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports that the Lakers intend to keep both Frye and Thomas.