With today (Feb. 8) being the trading deadline for the NBA, The Cleveland Cavaliers decided to trade Isaiah Thomas to the Los Angeles Lakers. He, along with teammate Channing Frye, will be heading to the West Coast in exchange for Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson.
Before being let go, Thomas only played 15 games for the Cavaliers, and during that time he never seemed to gell with his teammates or the organization.
In January, after the Cavs lost for the ninth time in 12 attempts, the 5’9” point guard was accused of calling out teammate Kevin Love in a locker room meeting. Love missed a game due to an illness and reportedly, Thomas said he was faking it but later denied it.
“Whoever reported that it was, and we was bashing Kevin Love, there was nothing to bash him about,” Thomas told reporters. “We just wanted to know where he was and why he didn’t play.”
In addition, Thomas was critical of the Cavs after they gave up a 21-point lead to one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference, the Orlando Magic. Later, some on social media said he was out of line for not only criticizing the team but doing it publicly.
“Collectively, as a group, we got to do better,” Thomas told the press. “It’s not just about me. We got to do better. We got to adjust throughout the game.”
Afterwards, the Cav’s coach Tyronn Lue addressed those comments and shot them down completely.
From the outside looking in, Lue and Thomas didn’t have the best relationship, possibly because Thomas missed the majority of the season with a hip injury.
When he arrived in Cleveland, the talented guard was fresh off a successful run with the Boston Celtics, who traded him for Kyrie Irving in 2017. During his time with the Celtics, Thomas became an all-star and led them to the playoffs as a first seed, something they haven’t accomplished in quite some time.
Plus, a little before their playoff run, his sister Chyna Thomas died in a car crash, but he still played and did well after hearing the news. Later on, in his series called “The Players Tribune’s Book of Isaiah II,’ Thomas said he was hurt by the Celtics’ General Manager Danny Ainge and his decision to let him go.
“[Ainge was] saying all I’ve done for the city and what I meant to him and all that bulls–t,” he recalled. “What are you talking about? My kids about to start school. Off the strength, after everything I went through, like no, you’re not supposed to do that.”
So now that Thomas is going through something similar with the Cavaliers, many thought he’s being mistreated by the NBA on a whole, especially since he possesses so much offensive talent.
“We’re not even nine months from when Isaiah Thomas was a hero and a must-watch star in the playoffs,” someone tweeted. “SMH. The universe don’t give a good damn about your feelings.”
“The NBA is really treating Isaiah Thomas like Jan Brady,” another person wrote.
Of course, the elephant in the room — or in this case on the basketball court — is whether LeBron James, who’s the Cav’s leading man, had anything to do with the trade. For years now, it’s been rumored that James has direct decision making power with the front office. It’s also been said that he doesn’t like how he and Thomas play together.
“They don’t play together at all on the court,” said ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on “The Dan Le Batard Show. “A couple days ago our stats and information group sent me that Isaiah was shooting less than 20 percent on passes from LeBron, so LeBron’s throwing him passes and Isaiah’s making none of them.”
So the question is, has Thomas been mistreated by getting traded to two different teams within a year, considering he was just an all-star? Or is leaving his home and uprooting his family just an occupational hazard that he shouldn’t complain about?
Either way, the millions of dollars he’s likely to get from the Lakers should make up for at least some of the apprehension he feels, assuming he’s unhappy about the trade.
You can check out some of the social media reactions about Thomas below, as well as the entire NBA shake up, because Dwayne Wade was just traded back to the Miami Heat.
Now fully on-board with the conspiracy that this is all part of Danny Ainge's plan to smuggle Isaiah into the locker rooms of his biggest enemies before he signs him back this Summer
— Agent of NBA Chaos (@World_Wide_Wob) February 8, 2018
So Isaiah Thomas basically ripped the heart out of the best Wizards team in 40 years and then *immediately* ceased being anything resembling a valued/respected NBA player, got it, that actually makes sense
— David Malitz (@malitzd) February 8, 2018
Isaiah Thomas’ 1st possession returning to Cleveland pic.twitter.com/wDBK9Ngyya
— Lil Uzaiah Vert (@theisaiahbell) February 8, 2018
This Isaiah Thomas tribute video is hilarious. Cold-blooded. Great summary of his time in Clevelandpic.twitter.com/jq07cj3bwZ
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) February 8, 2018
Warriors fans reaction to LeBron trading Wade and all the Cavs pic.twitter.com/SkohmbveVs
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) February 8, 2018