Cavaliers send Isaiah Thomas to Lakers

Cleveland Cavaliers

Thomas, whose hip injury factored in a move that had sent him from the Boston Celtics to the Cavaliers in the preseason, was expected to fill the shoes of Kyrie Irving.

Nance, 25, established himself as a solid young piece for the Lakers in recent seasons, averaging 8.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this year.

The Lakers did superb in this deal, moving out Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.in exchange for two expiring contracts in Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye, neither of whom will be in Los Angeles past this season.

Clarkson is owed $26 million over the next two seasons and Nance, who was drafted 27th overall in 2015, has one year remaining on his rookie contract at just $2.2 million.

The blockbuster deal was first reported three hours before the NBA's trade deadline, and kickstarted a flurry of activity that saw the Cavs completely overhaul their roster in hopes of winning another championship before LeBron James becomes a free agent in July. The Lakers are now in position to have $46.9 million in cap space this Summer that could lead to getting you guessed it, LeBron James. But if that money does wind up in LeBron's hands after the 2017-18 campaign, Thursday's trade could look like the Cavs enabling the King's westward expansion.

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Despite behind ranked second, the Buckeyes had a productive day, signing No. 1-rated offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere. The Bulldogs celebrated a big class Wednesday, as seven players signed to continue their football careers.

In addition to players, the Lakers will also get the Cavaliers' protected first-round pick in 2018. And Larry Nance Jr.is useful.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton said of Thomas: "He's a great player". "It's interesting, really interesting", Warriors forward Draymond Green said of Cleveland's drastic midseason renovation.

Clarkson is averaging 14.5 PPG on the year and is instant offense off the bench. As they owe their own 2019 first round pick to Atlanta from the Kyle Korver trade, the Cavaliers are blocked from being without a 2018 first rounder due to the Stepien Rule. On top of that, they could be thinking about trying to keeping Thomas and build around a backcourt of him and Ball, but that will certainly come down to how much money Thomas is looking for. "It hasn't been as planned, but I definitely want to be here".

But now, amid the trade that finally got him away from that toxic environment, Thomas' agent has made a decision to break the silence and take a direct shot at LeBron James, who's also one of the team's biggest issues. Both Nance and Clarkson were vital pieces to this current team, and they could be in shambles for a while. But if he plays, this move is good for him.

Taking to his Instagram page, Frye thanked Cavs fans and the city of Cleveland.

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