Los Angeles Lakers point guard Isaiah Thomas suffered another setback this season after re-injuring his hip, which will likely force him to sit out the remainder of the season. The recurring injury would be a big blow to his value this summer, as he is set to become a free agent in July.
The Lakers are expected to prioritize signing max-level players over re-signing Thomas, and the health of the two-time All-Star could eventually force Los Angeles to let him walk away. And if the Lakers move on from the 29-year-old point guard, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report named the Dallas Mavericks among the ideal landing spots for him.
According to Hughes, Thomas would “fill a void” in Dallas if he gets a deal from the Mavericks. The seven-year veteran is known for his scoring. He failed to find his rhythm this season after a long recovery from a hip injury, but he still managed to average 15.2 points in 32 games.
Hughes said that Thomas would give the Mavericks an individual shot creator, who could turn his teammates into secondary threats on the floor. He added that the former Washington standout could excel in Rick Carlisle’s system like JJ Barea, who is also an undersized guard like Thomas.
Aside from the Mavericks, Hughes also named the Orlando Magic among the ideal destination for Thomas. Both parties would benefit from a potential partnership. The Magic would have a high-scoring veteran guard, while Thomas would get a lot of room to prove that he can still be an elite scorer in the league.
Hughes also mentioned the Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, and Lakers as potential landing spots. The Lakers are still interested in negotiating a new deal with Thomas in the offseason despite the fact that he is set to undergo hip surgery, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
However, Wojnarowski added that it will still depend on the result of their recruiting pitch for top free agents like LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Julius Randle will also be a restricted free agent, and the Lakers are expected to strongly consider keeping him on the roster.
If they fail to land a superstar this summer, the Lakers will likely offer one-year deals to available players like Thomas. It will help them preserve their cap space for next year to pursue potential free agents like Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, and Jimmy Butler.