The Los Angeles Lakers will focus on acquiring LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer. Their expected pursuit of James and George will likely force Lakers free agents to look for new teams in the offseason.
Isaiah Thomas, who was acquired by the Lakers in a trade with the Cavaliers, will hit free agency after this season. If the Lakers manage to sign big-name free agents, there will be no room for Thomas in Los Angeles, considering the fact that they are also invested in rookie guard Lonzo Ball.
Thomas failed to improve his stock this season, which will likely give him no other choice but to take a one-year deal in the offseason. If he decides to look for a one-year contract in free agency, Clutch Points listed the San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers as ideal landing spots for the two-time All-Star.
Omar Guerrero of Clutch Points said that Thomas will be a perfect replacement for Tony Parker. Guerrero added that Thomas will be a good fit for the Spurs because their “system calls for plenty of ball movement,” and they are used to having scoring point guards.
Signing with the Spurs will give Thomas a good opportunity to prove himself again, which could help him get a near-max deal in the future. It is also worth noting that the 29-year-old point guard wanted to stay in Cleveland to compete for a championship. Moving to San Antonio will give him the chance to chase a title next season.
On the other hand, Vivek Jacob of Clutch Points said that joining the young 76ers squad makes sense for Thomas. He pointed out that the 76ers have the “type of environment for Thomas to succeed” because he can be their main scoring option. Philadelphia has also shown willingness to offer a lucrative one-year deal to free agents before.
Glenn Yoder of Washington Post reported that front-office executives believe that Thomas is worth under $10 million in free agency this summer. He is unlikely to get a lucrative long-term contract, as he has yet to get his game back after recovering from a hip injury.
Yoder added that the Lakers are not totally out of the picture, saying that they might keep Thomas if they strike out on their top targets in the offseason. Like the 76ers, the Lakers also showed that they are willing to give a hefty short-term deal to free agents, similar to the one-year, $17 million contract Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got last summer.