The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a stunning blockbuster trade on Thursday, sending Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers in return for two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a 2018 first-round draft pick.
In addition to revamping their present-day roster, the Lakers achieved their long-term goal of freeing up enough salary cap space to explore the possibility of signing two maximum-contract caliber players this summer or next.
Thomas and Frye met their new teammates on Friday in Dallas and expressed excitement about joining the Lakers, via Spectrum SportsNet:
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) February 10, 2018
Then on Saturday morning, the new Lakers took the court for their first shootaround with the team, via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
IT in his first Lakers practice, shooting through the rookies’ shooting game. pic.twitter.com/RwUUtljJq7
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) February 10, 2018
Thomas, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, called it a “dream” to put on a Lakers jersey. Furthermore, he compared his new teammates to the 2014-15 Boston Celtics, who also touted a young, talented group of players that made a second-half push to sneak into the playoffs.
Frye is reunited with college teammate Luke Walton, where the two played together at the University of Arizona from 2001-03. In addition to his reputation as a sharpshooter, the 34-year-old brings veteran leadership to the locker room.
Both newcomers are expected to make their debuts with the Lakers against the Mavericks, but may not see an expanded role just yet. Moreover, Walton confirmed that Thomas will be coming off the bench for the remainder of the season.
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