NBA trade deadline day took a little bit to get going, but once the Cavs woke up and started dealing, things got crazy. The first blockbuster trade the Cavs made was shipping Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and their protected 2018 first round pick to the Lakers for Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson.
Thomas getting moved wasn’t entirely shocking considering the clear divide between he, the rest of the locker room and the coaching staff that had emerged since his return to the lineup in early January. Him being dealt to the Lakers, however, was a shocker — as was the Cavs tacking on the first round pick just to get Thomas out of the locker room.
With Lonzo Ball already there and L.A. clearly more worried about their youth movement and clearing cap space (both Frye and Thomas are expiring) than winning now, which means there’s a chance they’ll want Thomas to come off of the bench. There’s one major problem with that. Thomas won’t accept coming off of the bench, and if you thought he was disgruntled in Cleveland it could be worse in L.A. if he’s relegated to backup duty behind Ball and other young players.