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Isaiah Thomas expected to make Lakers debut Saturday

10 February 2018

Although he was trying to fight through it and trying to be a good team player, this was not his style of play.

Ainge did his due diligence and poked around, but ultimately made the right decision and stood pat.

Although the Cavaliers believe they became more athletic and talented, there is the matter of making everything work, and that will be the challenge ahead and out of the break for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played at Staples Center in Los Angeles next weekend.

In the process the Lakers acquired two players whose contracts expire at the end of the campaign, which helps them as they will be active this offseason and the next in the free-agent market.

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ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski kicked off the fun by revealing the Lakers went for broke and traded Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.to the Cavs in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and Cleveland's 2018 first-round pick.

There is no precedent for what Cleveland has done - taking a team seen as a contender before the season, the three seed in a conference, and radically blowing it up mid-season.

In came Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr from the Lakers, Rodney Hood from the Jazz and George Hill from the Kings.

Deal No. 3: The Cavs traded Dwyane Wade to the Miami Heat, receiving a protected second-round draft pick.

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Let's call it a net win because the Cavs are now clearly back in the business of trying to win games, soothe the simmering fan base and get LeBron James' attention. The Cavs had 31 assists and only nine turnovers. There wasn't a guarantee that they would be able to improve the roster, but they went for it. All of this a result of what seemed like about a dozen trades made by Cleveland just before the deadline.

The Cavs are not permitted by league rules to trade two first-round picks in the same year, which meant they retained the protected Brooklyn Nets selection acquired in the August 22 trade with the Boston Celtics.

He took to twitter last night after the trade was finalized to thank the Cavs organization, tweeting, "It was only 15 games, but still an experience that I'm grateful for", Thomas wrote. Crowder was also traded Thursday to Utah. It had no other choice, and Boston is heavily to blame. Jimmy Butler had a look at the rim with James defending, and James did what players of his caliber can do, block Butler's shot at the rim to give his team a chance to win.

On the surface, the added pieces look like they could help Cleveland. The Hawks are second in the National Basketball Association in forced turnovers (16.0 per game) and second in points off those turnovers (18.8 ppg). He's averaging 25 points and 14 assists against the Hawks this season. Evan Fournier scored 19 points for the Magic, who broke a nine-game home losing streak against Cleveland.

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Cleveland has two months to put it all together before the playoffs, which is easier said than done.

Isaiah Thomas expected to make Lakers debut Saturday