Isaiah Thomas was a great Celtic, but a polarizing Cavalier. Now he's a Laker.
The Cavaliers ended the Thomas experiment Thursday by trading him to Los Angeles ahead of the NBA trade deadline. They followed that by trading Jae Crowder as part of a package for Rodney Hood.
The Celtics traded Thomas, who is in the final year of his contract, to Cleveland as part of the package for Kyrie Irving over the summer. Recovery from offseason hip surgery delayed his debut with the Cavs debut until Jan. 2, and though he averaged 14.7 points a game for Cleveland, he was seen as a central figure in the team's struggles on the court and in the locker room. Most notably, Thomas was believed to have called out Kevin Love in a team meeting.
With Cleveland having traded both Thomas and Crowder, Ante Zizic is now the only player from the Kyrie Irving trade still on the Cavaliers.
DETROIT -- A loss to short-handed Detroit was hardly the biggest concern for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Cleveland's recent rough stretch went from bad to worse Tuesday night when Kevin Love exited with a broken left hand in a 125-114 loss to the Pistons. The Cavaliers said he had a non-displaced fracture in his fifth metacarpal and his status would be updated after additional examination Wednesday in Cleveland.
"It's just unfortunate for our team," James said. "Obviously with everything (that's) been going on as of late with our ballclub, just trying to figure out how we're going to play every night, different lineups, and getting everybody into the flow, we don't need to have Kev go out like that. He's going to be out for quite a while - maybe two months - so it's just tough."
The Cavs have lost 11 of 16, and the injury will likely affect the defending Eastern Conference champions' plans as the Feb. 8 trading deadline approaches. They may have to make a significant move to replace Love.
"When it rains, it pours," coach Tyronn Lue said.
Love played only 4:41 and went scoreless.
BOSTON – Tip-off between Boston and Cleveland was still an hour-plus away when Celtics coach Brad Stevens made the first of what’s likely to be a number of adjustments, opting to start Marcus Morris in place of Aron Baynes.
Before the season started, Stevens said there would be lineup decisions made in part because of potential matchups between his starting unit and their opponent.
Tonight is one of those games.
“They’re super-skilled, obviously with [Kevin] Love at the 5 [center],” Stevens said. “Really tough cover. It sort of forces your hand.”
Morris, who has been battling left knee soreness most of this year, is coming off a 15-point game against Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve when he shot 5-for-7 from the field.
Tonight will be Morris appeared in three consecutive games since he played in four in a row in late November-early December.
As for starting, this is nothing new to Morris.
Tonight will be his eighth start of the season, with Boston posting an impressive 6-1 record when he starts with the current five-man unit that includes Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford.
This season, Morris has averaged 11.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while playing just 23.1 minutes per game.