Although the Los Angeles Lakers had initially planned to stay docile at the trade deadline, they wound up pulling the trigger on a deal that sent shooting guard Jordan Clarkson and power forward Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Needless to say, teammates were saddened to hear about the news.
Among them has been power forwards Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle. Following their dominant win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kuzma gave his thoughts on seeing his close friends and teammates get traded, according to Ryan Ward of ClutchPoints:
“It was really unfortunate, for me especially. I was really close to Larry [Nance Jr.] & JC [Jordan Clarkson]. Those two guys I kind of clicked with right away. We all miss them for sure but at the end of the day, it’s a business.”
Meanwhile, Randle echoed that same sentiment.
“It was emotional, in the beginning, since we lost two of our brothers. They’re in a great spot and they have a job to do.”
The solemn comments are certainly understandable given all that this young core has been through. Clarkson and Nance Jr. had been integral parts of the Lakers rebuild over the last few seasons and have built strong relationships with those in and around the organization.
However, it is just another reminder of how sudden things can change with the business side of basketball. Fortunately, they managed to land on a Cavs team that, despite their struggles, are still pegged as the favorites in the Eastern Conference.