February 08, 2018

Isaiah Thomas Traded for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance: The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a protected first-round pick in 2018 to the Los Angeles Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance. Thomas only played 15 games for the Cavs. The trade gives the Lakers $46.9 million in cap room. But wait, there's more: The Cavs traded Dwyane Wade to the Miami Heat for a protected second-round pick and acquired Rodney Hood and George Hill in a three-way deal with the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings, giving up Iman Shumpert and a 2020 second-round pick to the Kings and Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose from Cleveland to the Jazz.

posted by rcade to basketball at 01:42 PM - 19 comments

Things worked out well for Thomas.
IT is free of the LeBron's "me" show in Cleveland and can be a big part of a young rebuilding team in LA.

The move also confirms that the Lakers have no interest whatsoever in James as a free agent which will allow James to take his unique set of "talents" elsewhere.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:42 PM on February 08

So the Cavs just blew up their entire roster and Jimmy G just signed the richest per-year deal in NFL history with the 49ers. Sports Twitter is ridiculous today.

posted by Goyoucolts at 01:36 PM on February 08

ESPN is saying that the move is great for L.A. because it means they can make a play for LeBron and Paul George in the off-season.

posted by rcade at 01:49 PM on February 08

I don't disagree, rcade, but I think Cleveland's moves make it much more likely that LeBron stays with the Cavs. The organization bent over backwards today to try and get him to stay -- I think that will have a serious impact on his next Decision.

posted by Goyoucolts at 02:04 PM on February 08

LeBron runs Cleveland - he decides who the coach is, who they trade for, who they draft. He also decides what plays they run and when he wants to play defense. He is an immense talent but has become an uncontrollable monster due to the way he has been handled in Cleveland and nobody wants to play with him there.

Would LA be able to erase all of the fringe drama and get James to simply focus on playing the game hard in a team environment? I really doubt it.

Does Paul George sign with the Lakers if he knows LeBron is going there? I doubt that also.

posted by cixelsyd at 02:33 PM on February 08

So, the Lakers will have Thomas and Ball as their point guards?

posted by NoMich at 02:49 PM on February 08

I don't follow the inner dynamics at Cleveland. I figured that people are OK playing with him as long as they can handle not being treated like the top dog and don't mind an unofficial player-coach who is also an unofficial player-GM.

posted by rcade at 02:52 PM on February 08

Crushed that the duo of Shumpert and JR Smith has been broken up. Words are inadequate right now. Crushed.

Can't wait till LaVar and Isaiah come face to face. When I heard that LaVar was going to check out Lithuanian teams, I was hoping he'd end up with BC Larungaitis, but no such luck.

Years from now, Crowder and IT can tell their grandkids: Even before we got to Cleveland, they named the arena after us.

posted by beaverboard at 03:44 PM on February 08

So, the Lakers will have Thomas and Ball as their point guards?

No.

LeBron is working on a deal to get all of the Ball brothers into Cavs uniforms for the 2019 season, at the same time working a major network deal for a team based prime time reality show.

Then he plans to run for US President in 2020.

posted by cixelsyd at 05:25 PM on February 08

IT . . . can be a big part of a young rebuilding team in LA.

The move also confirms that the Lakers have no interest whatsoever in James as a free agent which will allow James to take his unique set of "talents" elsewhere.

IT is on an expiring deal, which means LA wants him for cap space. Wonder why?

posted by yerfatma at 10:17 AM on February 09

Wonder why?

Good point.

Maybe LA has such a huge fixation on LeBron as a player that they ignore everything else just to sign him. They also ignore the fact that they would be tying the future of their franchise to a 34 year old aging star player and the previous similar experiments with Karl Malone, Steve Nash, and Gary Payton. Not to mention their experience with Kobe where they never made the playoffs in the 4 years after he turned 34 and never seriously challenged for a championship after he was 31.

I think they go hard after Paul George and go hard on a few RFAs. Hell, event Kevin Durant makes a whole lot more sense than James.

But wouldn't it be great as Celtics fan to have the Lakers end up holding the Queen of Spades.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:00 AM on February 09

I don't think you can compare Karl Malone at 40 or Nash & Payton at the end of their careers to LeBron. Maybe LeBron's time is coming to an end, but he's certainly one of the top 3-5 players I would want my team to sign to a max deal.

posted by yerfatma at 12:53 PM on February 09

Things worked out well for Thomas. IT is free of the LeBron's "me" show in Cleveland and can be a big part of a young rebuilding team in LA.

The move also confirms that the Lakers have no interest whatsoever in James as a free agent which will allow James to take his unique set of "talents" elsewhere.

The exact opposite of my take. Thomas gets dumped and won't see the playoffs in a contract year. I put the odds of him re-signing with the Lakers at 1%. The Lakers get out of Clarkson's deal to open up cap space for a run at LeBron. Their backup plan is a bunch of other free agents whom they'll have very little competition in signing but surely their number one priority is best player in the league that is likely going to exit his current team.

posted by tron7 at 01:17 PM on February 09

If the Lakers were anywhere near a playoff caliber team with a strong nucleus and another star player or 2, like both the Heat and the Cavs were, it makes sense. You can rest the old guy during the season and save him for a deep playoff run. But the Lakers aren't anywhere near that. Their best players, Ingram/Hart/Ball, are just entering the NBA and won't reach their potential for another 2 or 3 years.

posted by cixelsyd at 03:40 PM on February 09

I don't disagree with that but it won't stop them from trying.

posted by tron7 at 03:45 PM on February 09

I suppose from a business/financial standpoint it could be a good move for the Lakers even if they never make the playoffs during LeBron's term.

posted by cixelsyd at 06:31 PM on February 09

Serious question here: did the Cavs get better with these deals?

posted by NoMich at 10:32 PM on February 09

Folks are saying they got better skill and talentwise, but not many are talking about how Lue is going to get that group to gel on the spot with no time to spare.

Maybe they should move the team to Columbus, where there's enough methyl cellulose to gel the Red Sea.

posted by beaverboard at 11:50 PM on February 09

did the Cavs get better with these deals?

Much better. They purged a bunch of aging all-stars who never fit and were in Cavs uniforms only because they were LeBron's buddies and they got rid of IT who LeBron didn't approve of.

I think the question is not how long it takes them to gel but rather whether Lue can prevent them from being tainted by the situation in Cleveland for at least the next 3 months. They would have an excellent chance in the East playoffs and they have a solid roster to build on once LeBron is gone.

posted by cixelsyd at 01:17 PM on February 12

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