L.A.

Lakers acquire Isaiah Thomas, Channing Fyre in exchange for Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr.

Isaiah Thomas, Lakers
Tony Dejak/The Associated Press

With the trade deadline a few hours away, the Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a major move on Thursday morning that sent guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Channing Fyre, and Cleveland’s 2018 first-round pick, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. 

The 2018 first-round pick that the Lakers have acquired from the Cavaliers is reportedly protected. There had been much chatter for the last few weeks concerning Clarkson’s future in Los Angeles as the front office had been actively shopping him around the league. The 25-year-old is in the second year of his four-year, $50 million deal that has $25.9 million remaining after this campaign. 

Clarkson has played all four seasons in the league with the Lakers and had become one of the team’s dependable scorers in a sixth man role off the bench. He is currently averaging 14.5 points per game on 44.8 percent shooting from the field. Nance Jr. is in the midst of another productive campaign in his third year averaging 8.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He will have the chance to play for the same team that his father, Larry Nance Sr., who had his No. 22 jersey retired by the organization. 

This cuts Thomas’ brief stint in Cleveland short after 15 games since returning from his hip injury where he averaged 14.7 points per game. However, the Cavaliers struggled to have any consistent success with him in the lineup going 7-8 over that span as the 29-year-old never truly fit into the fold due to his difficulty adjusting to his new role. 

That said, he will have an opportunity to step into a prominent offensive spot in Los Angeles alongside second-year forward Brandon Ingram and fourth-year forward Julius Randle. Meanwhile, Fyre could become a valuable asset off the bench with his outside shooting as hitting 38.7 percent from beyond the arc for his career. The 34-year-old took to social media to express his reaction to the trade. 

This deal also has the potential to free up even more salary cap space for the Lakers this upcoming offseason as both Thomas ($6.9 million) and Fyre ($7.4 million) are on the final year of their respective deals. It could open the door to the opportunity of being able to offer two max contracts in free agency with their eyes likely on making a run at two top players such as LeBron James and Paul George

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He's currently the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West. He was previously the beat writer for LA Rams Report for Scout.com, which is a website dedicated to covering the Rams. Lastly, he was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.
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