Los Angeles Lakers point guard Isaiah Thomas has been ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing arthroscopic hip surgery on Thursday. His injury could not have come at a worse time as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Speculations swarm the Lakers stating that they might still re-sign him despite failing to meet the team’s expectations, but there are also rumors linking him to a lot of different teams. According to Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes, the Detroit Pistons have emerged as one of the “ideal landing spots” for the two-time NBA All-Star.
Thomas, who turned 29 last month, has only played 32 games this season as he recovered from a hip injury suffered during last season’s playoffs when he was still with the Boston Celtics. He played his first game of the season last January, coming off the bench in a 127–110 Cleveland Cavaliers victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
After appearing in 15 games for the Cavs, Cleveland traded him, Channing Frye, and the team’s own 2018 first-rounder to Los Angeles for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. at this year’s trade deadline. He then played 17 games for the Lakers before deciding to “have his hip further evaluated,” ESPN reported.
Upon evaluation, New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery physician Dr. Bryan Kelly said that they need to “clean up the joint of all inflammatory debris related to his injury from last season.” Reportedly, the timeline of Thomas’ return would be around four months or about the last week of July.
In his article, Hughes listed down five potential destinations for Thomas in free agency this summer, including the Lakers, Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic, and Charlotte Hornets.
Talking about Detroit, the reporter noted that the Pistons could use Thomas primarily as a backup for Reggie Jackson. Hughes said that the former Washington Huskies star is considered as a “better fallback option than Ish Smith” in case the injury-prone Jackson becomes sidelined once again.
While Thomas is not viewed as a perfect complement to Blake Griffin, the point guard’s outside shooting prowess would be enough to “command attention” and free the lane for his high-flying fellow All-Star to maneuver, Hughes said.