The Cleveland Cavaliers won’t sit idly by this NBA trade deadline. The Woj-Bomb was dropped during the lunch hour on Thursday by Adrian Wojnarowski that the Cavaliers had a done deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
It feels like a yin and yang kind of deal on the Cavaliers’ end. The Cavaliers lose a valuable glue player in Channing Frye and also what seems like the opposite of a glue guy in Isaiah Thomas. The Cavaliers trade away a first-round pick, which isn’t great, but it’s their pick instead of the more valuable Brooklyn pick. The Cavaliers took back salary, but it made them significantly younger.
So let’s dive into what the Cavaliers are getting.
In his fourth season with the Lakers out of the University of Missouri, 25-year-old Jordan Clarkson is a 6-foot 5-inch guard. He started two games for the Lakers this season and averages 23.7 minutes per game scoring 14.5 points with three rebounds and just over three assists per game. The Cavaliers will be on the hook for $12.5 million next season and just over $13.4 million in the 2019-20 season.
The Cavaliers get another 25-year-old in Nance. We obviously know him because his father was a Cavaliers legend. He’s started 17 games for the Lakers this season playing 22 minutes, scoring 8.6 points, to go with 6.8 rebounds per game. He will be in the Slam Dunk Contest at NBA All-Star Weekend. Nance is owed $3.4 million in 2019-20 for the final year of his rookie contract.
For the Cavaliers, this might be addition by subtraction because they shipped out Isaiah Thomas. At the same time, it’s impossible to forget that the Lakers just cleared up enough salary cap space for two max deals this off-season.
Three impactful details on trade for Lakers: They'll have space for two max contract slots in 2018 or 2019, replenish first-round pick in 2018 Draft and gets Lakers some shooting for rest of season with Thomas and Frye.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2018
Of course, it would be ironic if the Cavaliers happened to help clear enough space for the Lakers to go ahead and sign him this off-season, but that doesn’t mean this was the wrong move. The Cavaliers likely just got marginally better and did so without giving up their most valuable trade asset. The Cavaliers also seem to have gotten younger and mixed up the chemistry that was failing at an advancing rate since the calendar flipped to 2018 and Isaiah Thomas was activated from injury.
Stay tuned to WFNY for far more on this trade as our thoughts develop.