Cavs ship Thomas to Lakers for Clarkson, Nance

Ethan Miller  Getty

Ethan Miller Getty

The Lakers traded away combo guard Jordan Clarkson, who averages 14.5 points per game, and power forward Larry Nance Jr., who shoots 60.1 percent from the field, to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Thomas, Channing Frye and a 2018 first-round pick.

Nance Jr., son of Cleveland Cavaliers legend Larry Nance, is averaging 8.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks in 22.0 minutes per game. Thomas and Frye are unrestricted free agents after this season, giving the Lakers room to add two max salary players in free agency this summer - Cleveland's LeBron James could be on the receiving end of one of those max contracts, too.

Cleveland completely changed its look - and perhaps its chances of winning an National Basketball Association title this season - on Friday (AEDT) with a stunning sequence of trades before the deadline, a person with direct knowledge of the deals told The Associated Press. Reports suggest LeBron James, if he opts out of his contract, and/or Paul George. Some thought this might turn around when Thomas returned from rehabbing a hip injury, instead things have only gotten worse for Cleveland.

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Pelinka said Thomas will not be bought out of his contract, a theory that was floated in the early moments following the trade.

Thomas was traded to the Cavaliers on August 22, along with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and an unprotected first-round pick, for Kyrie Irving.

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Those general parameters were in place before this move, but that additional $13 million makes it easier to be patient with Julius Randle. Or maybe they have more trades up their sleeve?

Just like that, the Cavs traded almost half their roster, got younger and maybe wedged themselves back into contention to make a fourth straight Finals appearance against Golden State. Clarkson averages 14.5 points per game on 45-percent shooting. (7) will look to become contributors for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the remainder of the season.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton said of Thomas: "He's a great player". One potential worry, however, is that they just helped the Lakers clear cap space to potentially make a run at.

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The team traded a shocking amount of players but received quite a bit of talent back in the deals. "It hasn't been as planned, but I definitely want to be here". But if he plays, this move is good for him. It appears, however, that the Cavs have a solution for their next game just in case they don't get all four new players to play in time, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

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