The Isaiah Thomas experiment is over in Cleveland. The Cavaliers traded the point guard and forward Channing Frye to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday for guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr., sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Lakers also get the Cavaliers’ protected first-round pick in 2018. The trade deadline is at 3 p.m. ET Thursday.
Thomas was acquired from the Celtics in August in the bigger deal for Kyrie Irving, who had said he wanted out of Cleveland.
Thomas was rehabbing from a hip injury and ended up only playing 15 games for the Cavs. He averaged 14.7 points, but Cleveland went 7-8 in those games.
“He’s worked too hard to get back, and he’s a ball dominant player,” said Thomas’ agent, Aaron Goodwin. “It’s LeBron’s ball, and this clearly wasn’t working. (Cavs GM) Koby (Altman) and I have had enough conversations where it was clear, with the way the system was going, it wasn’t beneficial for either party. This is a good opportunity for Isaiah.”
The trade makes the Cavaliers younger as both players they are getting are 25 years old.
Clarkson averages 14.5 points per game on 45-percent shooting. Nance averages 8.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. His father had an illustrious career with the Cavaliers.
After three straight Finals appearances and a title in 2016, the Cavs are currently third in the East.
Both Thomas ($6.3 million) and Frye ($7.4 million) are on expiring contracts. The Lakers now project to have $46.9 million in cap room this summer when Los Angeles could make a run at LeBron James and/or Paul George. The cap space will increase to $69 million if they do not bring back Julius Randle and stretch the $37 million owed to Luol Deng over five years.
Clarkson is under contract through 2019-20, and Nance’s deal runs through 2018-19. But Cleveland picks up luxury tax relief with this trade this season.
Thomas said this week that he was sick of being traded and wanted to stay with Cleveland.