Isaiah Thomas says Cavaliers were in 'panic mode' when they traded him to Lakers

When the Cleveland Cavaliers turned their roster upside down on deadline day, one of the players they sent away was Isaiah Thomas

That they traded the former All-Star point guard to the Lakers after he had played just 15 games with the team was both shocking in the big picture, but completely understandable given their situation. Thomas is just one season removed from finishing third in the league in scoring, and it's hard to believe he's already two teams removed from the Celtics. But at the same time, given his struggle to regain his form, and the issues he was reportedly creating in the locker room, it made sense for the Cavs to move on.

For the first time since the deadline, Thomas opened up about being traded for the second time in less than a year, saying he was surprised the Cavs actually went through with trading him, and adding that the team was in "panic mode" when they made the deal. Via ESPN:

"I didn't think they would pull the trigger that fast, 15 games," Thomas told ESPN's E:60 in an interview that will air March 11. "But again, it's a business. And the Cavs were, I mean, they were in panic mode. We were losing -- a lot. And I think they felt like they needed to make a move, and they, they basically cleared house."

Thomas also said that he bears no ill will towards the Cavs, though he did defend himself, saying it was a tough situation in Cleveland this season. 

"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.

"It just didn't work out," he said. "And that just happens."

It's hard to argue with Thomas' assessment that the Cavs were panicking on the deadline. They were just 5-9 in the month leading up to deadline day, and had put in some truly embarrassing performances. Plus, you don't make three trades to send away half of your roster if you believe everything is fine and can be fixed internally.

However, there is some cruel irony here in the realization that while Thomas is correct, a big part of the reason the Cavs were panicking, is because of his poor performance. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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