The Cleveland Cavaliers made a number of notable transactions at the NBA’s trade deadline, shipping out guards Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade and wings Iman Shumpert and Jae Crowder, along with the most prominent talent the Eastern Conference powerhouse sent away – former MVP candidate Isaiah Thomas.
Recovering from a hip injury suffered in the 2017 playoffs, Thomas played in only 15 games for the team before the Cavaliers said goodbye to the two-time All-Star amid his individual and overall team struggles.
Even with the struggles of his new team, Thomas didn’t expect the Cavs to move on from him so fast, according to ESPN:
“I didn’t think they would pull the trigger that fast, 15 games. But again, it’s a business. And the Cavs were, I mean, they were in panic mode. We were losing — a lot. And I think they felt like they needed to make a move, and they, they basically cleared house.”
Thomas expressed how hard it was to become acclimated to a new franchise, especially after sitting out for a long period of time:
“It was a tough situation I was being put in. It was — it was different. … It’s hard to get acclimated to a team halfway through the season.
People don’t put in there that we had eight or nine new players. So it was basically a brand new team. … I’m in a new system. New team, new coach, new players. And then I’ve been off for seven months. So I got to get — individually, I got to for the most part get my rhythm back, get my timing back.”
Thomas – who was first traded from Boston in August – has made his second move in the last six months, but has come to terms with his most recent change of scenery in Los Angeles:
“I’m coming to an L.A. team that’s young, that already has a system. And I just want to help. Hopefully I’m here long term, you know, with me being a free agent this summer. But if I’m not, these last 25 games I’m going to play my heart out and show the Lakers why I should be here long term.”
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