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Cavaliers trading Thomas to Lakers for Nance, Clarkson

09 February 2018

Multiple reports confirmed that in exchange for point guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr., the Cavaliers sent point guard Isaiah Thomas, power forward Channing Frye and their first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft to the Lakers.

Thomas joined the Cavs a year ago as part of the move which sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.

Just hours before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, the Cleveland Cavaliers have undergone a massive makeover.

The two primary targets for the Lakers this summer will be LeBron James and Paul George, both of whom are expected to hit the open market with expiring deals in Cleveland and Oklahoma City, respectively.

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Only five other players drafted before him - No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving, No. 9 pick Kemba Walker, No. 11 pick Klay Thompson, No. 15 pick Kawhi Leonard and No. 30 pick Jimmy Butler - played in an All-Star Game, which Thomas eventually did in 2016 and 2017.

Thomas was traded from the Kings to the Suns in 2014. The third-year forward was traded from the Lakers, alongside Jordan Clarkson, to Cleveland. A person with direct knowledge of the trades says the Cleveland Cavaliers have overhauled their roster with several deals, including sending Dwyane Wade to Miami.

James went on Instagram to endorse the move for one of his best friends, posting "truly happy for my brother (at) dwyanewade!" The trade seems to confirm further that the Lakers have more interest in luring a marquee free agent this summer or in 2019 than making a serious push for the playoffs this season. Or maybe they have more trades up their sleeve?

Clarkson (6-5, 194) has appeared in 53 games (two starts) for Los Angeles this season, averaging 14.5 points on.448 shooting from the field, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 23.7 minutes per game.

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"Hey, we had to do this deal for now and the future of the Lakers", Johnson said. I like it here, it hasn't gone as planned, but I definitely want to be here.

Thomas was traded to the Celtics on February 19, 2015, for Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round pick. Since so few teams have cap space this season, it is entirely possible that the market for Randle has either partially or fully dried up, potentially allowing the Lakers to get him at a reasonable salary that could be traded later on without requiring an asset.

Channing Frye: Frye is a super veteran role player who fit a specific need for the Cavs, especially after Kevin Love got hurt. Plus, he was involved in some of their off-court drama, and it was likely best to just move him and help clear the air.

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Cavaliers trading Thomas to Lakers for Nance, Clarkson