The Cavs and Lakers agreed to a trade but it does not involve LeBron James.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to trade Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., according to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Cavaliers will also send its 2018 first-round pick to the Lakers. The Cavaliers' 2018 first-round pick is protected, according to Wojnarowski. The Cavaliers can not trade the Brooklyn Nets first-round pick for 2018 until after the draft.
Thomas is averaging 14.7 points, 4.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game. On Wednesday night, Thomas told reporters that he does not want to be traded and is "tired of being traded." He played just 15 games with the Cavaliers after missing more than seven months due to a torn labrum in his right hip. Despite returning to form, he struggled to find his rhythm with Cleveland. The Cavaliers acquired Thomas in an August trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.
The Lakers will take on the expiring $6.3 million on Thomas' contract and the $7.4 expiring contract of Frye, which would put them at about $46.9 million in room for this summer's free agency spending, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks. That number could increase if the Lakers decide not to bring back Julius Randle and stretching out the $37 million owed to Luol Deng over the next five seasons. That could open up the possibility for two max contracts in 2018 or 2019.
The Lakers intend to keep both Thomas and Frye, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst notes that with Cleveland taking on long-term money and helping clear cap space, they are wagering that LeBron James decides to stay with the team when he opts out of his contract and becomes a free agent this off-season.
Clarkson is averaging 14.5 points, 3.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds on the season. Nance is averaging 8.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
The Lakers are 22–31 on the season and sit in 11th place in the Western Conference. The Cavaliers have won just seven of their last 20 games and are 31–22 for third place in the Eastern Conference.