The Los Angeles Lakers will likely let Isaiah Thomas walk away in free agency this summer. The Lakers might not have enough room for the two-time All-Star, especially if they successfully convince LeBron James and Paul George to move to Hollywood in the offseason.
The Indiana Pacers are frequently mentioned as an ideal landing spot for Thomas. However, Jonathan Matthes of 8 Points 9 Seconds said that the Pacers should not sign the 29-year-old point guard. Thomas will become a free agent this summer, and it remains to be seen whether there will be strong interest in him on the market.
Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report earlier predicted that Thomas will move to Indiana this summer. He pointed out that the Pacers might be willing to use their mid-level exception to acquire the former Washington standout. Gil Alcaraz IV of Hoops Habit also said that Thomas will be an ideal target for Indiana because he could form a dangerous backcourt duo with Victor Oladipo in the next several seasons.
However, Matthes strongly believes that acquiring Thomas will bring more harm than good to Indiana next season. Yes, it would give the Pacers a legitimate starting point guard, but Matthes said that he might not be a good fit with Oladipo. He pointed out that Oladipo should be paired with a guard who can thrive playing off the ball.
Thomas is not that kind of player because he needs the ball in his hands to be effective. The former 60th overall pick became an All-Star twice during his time with the Boston Celtics because coach Brad Stevens entrusted their offensive attack to him. When he moved to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he struggled big time because he did not get the touches that he wanted because of LeBron James.
Matthes also said that the Pacers do not need Thomas because they already have Darren Collison. While he is not as popular as Thomas today, he is actually playing well alongside Oladipo, averaging 12.7 points and 5.3 assists. The Pacers also have a decent bench led by backup point guard Corey Joseph, Lance Stephenson, and Glenn Robinson III.
Matthes concluded that the Pacers should only sign Thomas if he agrees to a bench role, which is highly unlikely. The 5-foot-9 point guard told USA Today earlier this month that he deserves to start for any team in the league and will not settle for a sixth-man role.
“I’m not no sixth man,” Thomas said. “And I won’t be a sixth man. I just want everybody to know that, like clear as can be. I’m a two-time All-Star and a starter who has done things that a lot of people in this league haven’t done.”