The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded guard Isaiah Thomas to the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a deal for guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Cleveland is also sending its 2018 first-round pick and Channing Frye to the Lakers, league sources said. The Cavs acquired Thomas in August 2017 as part of a blockbuster deal that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.
Thomas, 29, returned from a hip injury on Jan. 2 to average 14.7 points, 4.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game for the Cavs. He is shooting 36.1 percent from the floor and 25.3 percent from 3-point range this season. Thomas, a two-time All-Star who was an All-NBA player last season, will be a free agent this summer.
Clarkson, 27, is a dependable bench scorer who averaged 14.5 points, 3.3 assists and three rebounds in 52 games for the Lakers. He has two years and $25.9 million left on a four-year, $50 million deal he signed in 2016. Nance, 25, is a high-energy forward who averaged 8.6 points and 6.8 rebounds in 42 games this season. He is in his third NBA season and is owed $2.2 million in 2018-19. Frye, 34, is in his 13th NBA season and was playing 12.4 minutes a game as a stretch big man for the Cavs. Cleveland is 31-22 and third in the East after going 5-5 in its last 10 games. The Cavs won a dazzling 140-138 overtime thriller over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night, with LeBron James hitting the game-winning shot.
The Pistons have needed help at the point guard position, and with a small move hours before the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline, they addressed their need. Detroit traded for veteran point guard Jameer Nelson, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania, sending energetic big man Willie Reed to Chicago in exchange. The Bulls and Pistons will also swap second-round picks in 2022. Reed is serving a six-game suspension as the result of a domestic violence incident. The trade is a reunion. Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy coached Jameer Nelson in Orlando from 2007-12 during the Dwight Howard era. Nelson averaged a career-high 16.7 points on borderline 50-40-90 club numbers (50 percent shooting from the field, 45 percent from three, and 88.7 percent from the foul line) in the 2008-09 season as a pick-and-roll ball-handler adept at finding Howard with pinpoint lob passes. He projects to play a similar role in Detroit, and the Pistons have a present-day Howard. Andre Drummond is an All-Star center with similar athleticism and rim-protecting prowess as Howard in his prime. The Pistons also traded for Blake Griffin and are 5-0 since acquiring him.
Nelson helps stabilize a Detroit back court that also includes Ish Smith and Langston Galloway. The Pistons will also see Reggie Jackson return from a severely sprained ankle in late February or early March. Nelson began the season with the Pelicans but was traded to the Bulls in the deal for Nikola Mirotic. The 35-year-old guard averaged five points and 3.6 assists in 20 minutes per game in Denver and did not play a game in Chicago.