After undergoing arthroscopic hip surgery last Thursday, Isaiah Thomas’ future with the Los Angeles Lakers has become one of the main subjects in the current NBA rumor mill. What makes it interesting is that Thomas is set to enter unrestricted free agency this summer, and several other teams are being linked to the diminutive point guard at this time.
LA Sports Hub’s Jason Reed listed four teams, including the Lakers, that could possibly be the “best fits” for the two-time NBA All-Star next season. One of those teams is the New Orleans Pelicans, who have lost DeMarcus Cousins to an Achilles injury earlier this year.
Next to Anthony Davis, Cousins is the best player and the second All-Star in head coach Alvin Gentry’s lineup. Although Davis has proven time and again that he can carry the Pelicans all by himself, adding another All-Star “that can stretch the floor and shoot the ball” would be wise for New Orleans while waiting for Boogie’s return, Reed said.
The reporter then continued that the pick-and-roll combination of Davis and Thomas could be “insane” and that the former Washington Huskies star would be “perfect” for Gentry’s system. However, he also noted that signing Thomas may not be the best decision for the squad since he will compete for minutes with Pelicans starting point guard Jrue Holiday, who had been leading the team superbly this season.
Thomas injured his hip two games into last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. He was still with the Boston Celtics at the time, and he ended up getting traded to their conference finals opponents, the Cleveland Cavaliers, in a deal that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston last summer.
Thomas missed the Cavs’ first 36 games this season as he recovered from the injury before returning to the court in January. He only appeared in 15 games for Cleveland before they traded him to the Lakers at the deadline.
After 17 games averaging 15.6 points, 5.0 assists, and 2.1 rebounds in 26.8 minutes per game for head coach Luke Walton, Thomas reportedly opted to have his hip further evaluated. Doctors recommended surgery to fix the issue, and he went under the knife on March 29, which would sideline him for the next four months, according to USA Today.
The 29-year-old floor general is in the final year of the bargain four-year, $27 million deal he signed with the Celtics before the 2014-2015 season. Thomas reportedly desires to earn a much better contract as he becomes a free agent this coming offseason. However, the last 12 months have been so “nightmarish” for him that a lucrative offer is not expected, the Washington Post reported.