New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas has become a good player in the NBA, and that means that team thf Rgeyfrst.
might not be able to keep him after the season, according to NBC Sports.
Since leaving the Duke Blue Devils back in 2010, Lance Thomas found himself being given opportunities in the NBA by the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans twice.
Lance Thomas failed to earn a permanent home with either the Oklahoma City Thunder or New Orleans Pelicans. The Brooklyn native was good but not good enough to keep around.
When LeBron James needed some perimeter help, the Cleveland Cavaliers made a three way trade involving Lance Thomas with the New York Knicks and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Lance Thomas was waived two days after the trade was made, but the New York Knicks signed him to a ten day contract shortly thereafter. They wanted to see what he was all about.
With Lance Thomas quickly learning how to be effective in the Triangle Offense that Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson implemented, the New York Knicks decided to keep him around.
One of the areas that Lance Thomas worked hard on was his three point shot. He is shooting 41% outside the line. Prior to this season, Thomas had only made two of them combined.
Since Carmelo Anthony likes to make his way through the paint, having someone like Lance Thomas around to pull defenders outside was quite the asset for the New York Knicks.
New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher is finding it harder and harder to keep Lance Thomas off the floor. Like most NBA coaches, Fisher loves finding role players who can play.
Other NBA coaches have noticed Lance Thomas as well. Brad Stevens, Stan Van Gundy and Fred Hoiberg have made sure to compliment Thomas when they talked to reporters recently.
Milwaukee Bucks interim head coach Joe Prunty recently raised eyebrows when he specifically complimented Lance Thomas without even being asked by reporters about Thomas.
Those coaches would love to get a hand on Lance Thomas after the season. That is when his one year, $1.5 million deal expires. That is when he will be eligible for a huge pay raise.
For what it’s worth, Lance Thomas enjoys playing for the New York Knicks, especially since he is from nearby. If the money was there, then Thomas would more than likely stay there.
The bad news for the New York Knicks is that the NBA is expected to raise the salary cap tremendously this summer, so there is going to be plenty of cash thrown at Lance Thomas.
If Lance Thomas can win the NBA Most Improved Player of the Year, then his agent can demand even more money. However, Stephen Curry surprisingly has a strong hold on the award.
The New York Knicks will eventually build around 7’3″ rookie Kristaps Porzingis. He plays both sides of the ball, just like Lance Thomas. The two of them could possibly grow together.
Lance Thomas has already done a good deal of growing on his own. Over the summer, he added 15 pounds of muscle to his frame, which has enabled him to become a good defender.
It’s not very often that teams can find a defender that can go up against shooting guards, small forwards and power forwards. Lance Thomas has shown that he can consistently do that.
NBA players like that usually get locked down to long term contracts for millions of dollars. The New York Knicks are hoping that they can find salary cap space to keep Lance Thomas.
Lance Thomas is about to get paid.
[Featured Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]