The Los Angeles Lakers made a major move at the NBA trade deadline, sending Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and the Cavs’ 2018 first-round pick. It was an unexpected move, but one that just may set up the Lakers for a big push into the future.
On this episode of the LN News Feed, host Trevor Lane and guest Hannah Kulik discuss the trade and what ramifications it will have on Los Angeles. While it’s bittersweet to see Clarkson and Nance, two of the team’s longest-serving young players, get shipped out, the return was certainly impressive.
There will be question marks surrounding Isaiah Thomas’ health and fit both on and off the court, but his talent is undeniable. For the Lakers, they will hope that the 15 games he played for the Cavs this season were not a true indication of his abilities at this stage in his career. Additionally, Frye should provide the Lakers with some outside shooting, which is sorely needed on a team that is dead last in three-point shooting.
The Lakers have also done very well with late draft picks, including finding players like Nance Jr., Clarkson, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart. While Cleveland’s pick won’t be very high, Los Angeles will hope that their scouting department can once again uncover a gem.
The trade also provides the Lakers with the salary cap space to potentially chase a pair of max-level free agents next season, which could turn their fortunes around quickly.
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