With NBA trade rumors running rampant before the trade deadline there was a deal to be made between the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Lakers have agreed to trade Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cavaliers for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and Cleveland’s first-round draft pick, according to SB Nation via Adrian Wojnarowski.
A recent tweet by ESPN’s Wojnarowski suggested that the Lakers and Cavaliers were engaged in serious trade talks. The trade talks between the Lakers and Cavaliers have materialized into a blockbuster trade, which should work out for both teams.
The Los Angeles Lakers were able to shed the salaries of Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., giving them some long-term financial flexibility. By taking back Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye, the Lakers receive a player looking to cash in as a free agent and a player whom they could waive.
The bonus for the Lakers is getting a first-round draft pick in the upcoming draft. That pick will likely be a late selection, which could give the Lakers another young piece to add to their already solid young core. There will be a glut of centers available in the upcoming NBA draft.
The Los Angeles Lakers can address their need for size with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ pick. The caveat remains, however, the Lakers giving up Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. for Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye. The primary trade return impacts the Lakers in a way that cannot go overlooked.
The Los Angeles Lakers lose their first-round draft pick to the Boston Celtics if it lands between Nos. 2-5. That is the result of a complicated draft day trade (courtesy of For the Win) between the Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, which took place last June.
The Los Angeles Lakers odds of losing their pick to the Celtics were beginning to increase. A now-motivated Isaiah Thomas could lead to more Lakers wins.
Questions remain for the Cleveland Cavaliers because the acquisitions of Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. hampers them from conducting a more impactful trade.
The Cavaliers did make a trade to salvage some team chemistry by sending Isaiah Thomas to the Lakers. Trading away their draft pick disallows the Cavaliers from moving the Brooklyn Nets’ selection that they received from the Celtics.
For the Cleveland Cavaliers, there will not be a trade for DeAndre Jordan or Kemba Walker, as the Cavs’ best asset cannot be dealt. The Cavaliers’ this season is still interesting, however.
By getting Jordan Clarkson from the Lakers, the Cavaliers get an additional ball-handler, who can shoot. Clarkson will open up the Cavaliers’ offense with his ability to play with or without the basketball. Larry Nance Jr. will likely slide into a similar role that he had with the Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers might be done making trades, while the Cleveland Cavaliers continues to be active.
Along with acquiring Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. from the Lakers, the Cavaliers traded for guards Rodney Hood and George Hill in a three-team swap, according to ESPN. The Cavaliers are officially retooling their roster for another run at an NBA championship.
Both the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers made a move that will affect their immediate and long-term future. The Lakers will miss Jordan Clarkson’s versatility, but the financial flexibility the Lakers received from the trade is a good return.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will have some expected growing pains, but they are well positioned in the event that LeBron James leaves during the summer.