LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Hours before the trade deadline Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers sent Thomas and veteran forward Channing Frye to the Lakers in exchange for forward Jordan Clarkson and guard Larry Nance, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
As part of the deal, the Lakers also received a protected 2018 first-round pick from the Cavaliers, Wojnarowski said.
The Lakers intend to keep both the 29-year-old Thomas and the 34-year-old Frye, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports. Thomas is on an expiring $6.2 million deal, while Frye has an expiring $7.4 million contract. Journeyman Frye — who is joining his sixth NBA team — and Lakers head coach Luke Walton played together at Arizona for several seasons in the early 2000s.
Meanwhile, in making the deal, the Lakers shed the two-years and $25.9 million remaining on Clarkson’s deal. He is owed $12.5 million next season and $13.4 million in 2019-20. Nance is only owed $2.2 million in 2018-19 before becoming a restricted free agent the following summer.
The deal helps opens up cap space and helps position the Lakers as a major free agent player this summer with the ability to tender multiple max contracts.
This is the second time that Thomas has been traded in the past seven months. In August, after an electric playoff run, the Boston Celtics shipped him to Cleveland in a blockbuster trade for Kyrie Irving.
However, Thomas has had a poor time of it since arriving to Cleveland. He missed the first 36 games of the season recovering from a hip injury he suffered during the playoffs in April. He has only appeared in the last 15 games, averaging 14.7 points, 4.5 assists and 36 percent shooting from the field, while openly struggling to mesh with LeBron James.
In L.A., Thomas will presumably slot alongside Lonzo Ball and offer the Lakers some much needed shooting.
Both Clarkson and Nance, both 25, have spent their entire NBA careers with the Lakers. Clarkson was selected by the Lakers in the second-round of the 2014 draft. In 53 games this year, he is averaging 14.5 points and 3.3 assists off the bench.
Nance was taken with the 27th overall pick in 2015. In 42 games this year, he is averaging 8.6 points and 6.8 rebounds.