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To his credit, Isaiah Thomas took the high road and didn’t delve into what went wrong during his times with the Cleveland Cavaliers at shootaround on Saturday in Dallas.
However, the man the Cavaliers traded with him to the Los Angeles Lakers — Channing Frye — did offer some insight as to why the situation didn’t work out for Thomas nor the Cavaliers.
“I think it just wasn’t working,” Frye, who along with Thomas, will make his Lakers debut tonight against the Mavericks, said. “I don’t think it was a chemistry off the court thing because I went and talked to those guys all the time. I just think on the court, there just wasn’t enough give and take.
“I don’t think we were built to sacrifice for each other. I think a lot of guys had success in different systems. There wasn’t enough time for them to adjust to doing it a certain way and that happens.”
Thomas struggled in the 15 games he played as a Cavalier, averaging 14.7 points and 4.5 assists while shooting just 36.1 percent from the field, 25.3 percent from 3. He and Frye, along with Cleveland’s 2018 first-round draft pick, were acquired in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. before the trade deadline Thursday.
For his part, Frye believes Thomas will get back to being the guy who led the Eastern Conference in scoring a year ago in Boston (28.9), while averaging 5.9 assists.
“I’ll be honest, he’s gonna be fine,” Frye said of Thomas. “… I think everyone makes a big deal out of it because it’s Isaiah, but Kyle [Korver] wasn’t having a great year. I wasn’t having a great year. Jae [Crowder] wasn’t having a great year. Dwyane Wade. You gotta put all these different personalities and groups together, it sometimes just doesn’t work out.
“There’s nothing [wrong] with him. You’re gonna see. He’s gonna ball. How many games do we have left? You’re gonna see Isaiah start to become the old Isaiah, especially with a faster pace. Especially the way the ball moves and pops here. I think this is a better system for him.”