The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to move on from Isaiah Thomas if they successfully sign a superstar or two this summer. If the Lakers decide to let Thomas walk in free agency, the two-time All-Star will look for a team where he can prove that he can still be an elite guard in the league despite dealing with hip issues.
According to Jason Reed of LA Sports Hub, the Indiana Pacers could be an ideal destination for Thomas. He said that adding Thomas to the roster would give the Pacers a dangerous trio, which could make them a serious contender in the Eastern Conference next season.
The Pacers traded Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder last offseason, and they looked as if they are ready to enter rebuilding mode. However, led by All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, the Pacers are currently among the top five teams in the Eastern Conference heading into the final weeks of the 2017-18 NBA regular season.
But while they are one of the surprising teams in the league this season, the Pacers still need to bolster their roster in order to become a serious threat to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East. Reed said that adding a high-scoring guard like Thomas would put them in a better position to compete next season.
The Pacers would be able to create a big three of Thomas, Oladipo, and Myles Turner. While the defense could be an issue, the backcourt duo of Thomas and Oladipo would be a “vicious scoring” tandem, which could wreak havoc on offense night in and night out for Indiana. Turner, on the other hand, will likely get more scoring options with the defense focused on Thomas and Oladipo because of their scoring ability.
It is worth noting, though, that the Pacers might not have enough cap space to offer a lucrative contract this summer. However, Reed said that Indiana has an “interesting dynamic” to attract Thomas. There is also a chance that Thomas might accept a low-salary deal, knowing that he still needs to prove he can get over his hip issues.
Thomas, who averaged 15.2 points and 4.8 assists in 32 games this season, is out for the remainder of the season. The 29-year-old point guard underwent arthroscopic surgery to address his hip injury. According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, the former Washington standout would be out at least for the next four months.