Isaiah Thomas believes the Cavaliers panicked when they sent him to the Lakers as part of a flurry of deals at the trade deadline, according to an ESPN story. Thomas, who was acquired from the Celtics in the offseason, played just 15 games for the Cavs before being sent to L.A.
“It was a tough situation I was being put in,” Thomas said. “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 will be a free agent this summer, said he has no hard feelings about his time in Cleveland and he is concentrating on his future with his new team. He added that he plans to “play my heart out and show the Lakers why I should be here long term.”
There’s more out of Cleveland:
- LeBron James was revitalized by the trades because he knew he wouldn’t have to share the ball anymore with Thomas or Dwyane Wade, writes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. He adds that James prefers to control as much as he can, both on and off the court, and now has the freedom to initiate the offense any time he wants. Pluto has noticed a difference in James’ play and his on-court demeanor since he found out the trades were coming on the night before the deadline.
- The addition of George Hill and Larry Nance Jr. has provided the defensive spark the Cavaliers needed, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The Cavs turned in one of their best performances of the season Saturday, holding the Grizzlies to 89 points while registering 13 steals and 35 points off 23 turnovers. “Obviously G. Hill’s hands, Larry’s length and athleticism allows us to kind of keep everything at bay,” James said. “Our league is all pick and roll. So when you’ve got a point guard and a center that can play two on two and the other three can kind of stay at bay, it helps out everybody.”
- The Cavaliers would be very interested if the Spurs decide to part with star forward Kawhi Leonard, writes Sam Amico of AmicoHoops. Leonard reportedly has a strained relationship with the organization related to his lingering quad injury. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed this week that Leonard has been medically cleared to play, but is choosing to sit out until the pain subsides. Amico speculates that Cleveland would be willing to give up the unprotected pick it owns from Brooklyn as the centerpiece of a deal for Leonard.