Isaiah Thomas rumors have continued to swirl as the NBA heads into the final weeks of the 2017-2018 regular season. The Los Angeles Lakers have been 3-3 since they acquired Thomas from the Cleveland Cavaliers at the trade deadline, amidst speculations that the two-time NBA All-Star is not included in the future plans of the Hollywood franchise.
Thomas said that he hopes to stay with the Lakers for the “long term,” as reported by Lakers Nation, but there are no indications yet that the club is planning to give him the lucrative, long-term contract he had been chasing all throughout his career.
Here is what Thomas had to say in a recent interview with ESPN.
“I’m coming to an L.A. team that’s young, that already has a system. And I just want to help. Hopefully, I’m here long-term, you know, with me being a free agent this summer. But if I’m not, these last 25 games I’m going to play my heart out and show the Lakers why I should be here long term.”
Last season’s top five MVP contender is in the final year of his four-year, $27 million deal signed with the Boston Celtics in the summer of 2014. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July, and there were reports saying that he expects to land a max salary contract.
However, after a tumultuous 15-game stint with the Cavaliers upon returning from a hip injury, many analysts believe that he would not be able to command that amount of money heading into free agency. Still, Thomas reportedly remains “optimistic” about his future in Los Angeles, as per Lake Show Life.
However, Bleacher Report‘s Grant Hughes believes that a move to Indiana with the Pacers is more likely to happen for the diminutive point guard this summer.
Hughes compared Thomas’ performance this season to that of former Laker Lou Williams, who is having a remarkable year with the Clippers. The Clips recently extended Williams for a bargain three-year, $24 million contract, and so the reporter said that Thomas “may not (even) get that much.”
However, Hughes indicated that one team may “take a chance on a short-term contract,” and that the Pacers could be it as long as Thomas would be ready to play there as Victor Oladipo’s sidekick.
Thomas had somehow managed to build a reputation of being a “locker-room disruptor” in his short stint with the Cavs, and that could make Indiana think twice about offering him a deal.