While there have been Lakers rumors suggesting point guard Isaiah Thomas has played his last game in Los Angeles, a new report speculates that his injury could lead to him deciding to remain with the team. Thomas is looking at upcoming free agency decisions after being traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Lakers ahead of the NBA All-Star break. While he was giving the Lakers some good contributions on the court, his hip injury continues to plague him, as the 2017 NBA All-Star is undergoing season-ending surgery.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Isaiah Thomas was set for an orthopedic scope of his injured hip on Thursday. Wojnarowski indicated that despite his season being cut short again due to the hip issues, the team is still interested in exploring talks with him. It’s also noted in the report that a lot of the Lakers’ interest will revolve around their ability to sign some big stars in free agency such as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George. The team would be more likely to explore one-year deals for the 2018-19 NBA season if they aren’t successful in signing James, George, or another star. In addition to that, the team will be paying close attention to Thomas’ health as they make their decision.
Head coach Luke Walton has been positive about having Thomas as part of the roster, based on recent comments he made to the media.
“The team’s agenda always came first, and he never complained about it once… Him and Julius [Randle] had a nice connection going. I loved the banter between him and [Kyle Kuzma] out there on the floor. He was great. You go down the line, he affected all the guys that played minutes for us, the young guys.”
A report on Thursday from Lakers Nation’s Trevor Lane also talks about the latest with the Isaiah Thomas injury and his impending free agency this season. For the current season, Thomas has averaged 15.2 points per game, 4.8 assists, and 2.1 rebounds, but he’s barely played in it due to injury recovery and now the latest situation. Lane noted that he played in 16 games for the team all season since the trade by Cleveland. He also suggests that not many teams out there are going to be looking for a point guard, let alone using him as a starter, especially with the hip issue.
Time will tell if the Los Angeles Lakers decide to keep “IT” as part of next season’s plans because he won’t be taking over Lonzo Ball’s starting job unless Ball is unable to go. However, it seems that Thomas could have a golden opportunity to sign a short-term deal with his current team and then worry about proving his value to future teams next season.