Isaiah Thomas will be a free agent this summer, and it is interesting to see if any teams take a gamble on the two-time All-Star. The Los Angeles Lakers are not expected to aggressively try to keep Thomas in free agency, as they are planning to pursue the top free agents on the market such as LeBron James and Paul George.
Thomas is expected to consider all options and will look for a team where he could excel and prove that he can still be an elite guard in the league. According to Jason Reed of LA Sports Hub, signing with the Detroit Pistons could do wonders for his career once he recovers from a recent hip surgery.
Reed said that the Pistons would be a great fit for Thomas. He would get the opportunity to run the offense and will have plenty of options, as he would be playing alongside superstar big men Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. The 29-year-old could form a deadly pick-and-roll combination with both Griffin and Drummond in Detroit.
While they are on pace to miss the playoffs this season, the Griffin-Drummond frontline duo has shown a lot of promise. Adding Thomas to the roster would just give them more options in offense because of the seven-year veteran’s ability to score and stretch the floor.
However, the Pistons would need to make moves in order to create cap space for Thomas even if the former Washington standout agrees to a low-salary contract in the offseason. They would be $15 million over the cap next season, according to Spotrac, which means they need to shed salaries in order to offer a deal to Thomas.
According to Reed, the Pistons could trade Reggie Jackson along with a young prospect to a team in need of a new point guard. Jon Leuer could also be moved. If they can find a taker for Jackson and Leuer, the Pistons could free up $27 million off their books, which could be enough to sign a player coming off a bad season such as Thomas.
Thomas averaged 28.9 points and 5.9 assists for the Boston Celtics last season. However, his numbers went down to 15.2 points this season because of his hip issues. The 60th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft recently underwent arthroscopic hip surgery, which would force him out for at least four months, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
If Thomas fails to find a new home in the offseason, the Lakers might decide to keep him on a discounted one-year deal. According to Shahan Ahmed of NBC Los Angeles, the Lakers “enjoyed the Thomas experiment” this season, which makes them open to keeping him in purple and gold for another year.