The Los Angeles Lakers are still open to signing Isaiah Thomas to a new deal this summer depending on how the 2018 free agency market pans out for them. If the Lakers manage to catch a big fish in the offseason, Thomas might have no other choice but to look for a team where he can prove that he is still an elite player in the league.
Thomas wanted to get a max-level deal for his next contract, but that is clearly out of the picture this summer because of his battle with hip issues. And if he wants to get closer to earning a huge paycheck soon, Dallin Duffy of Fansided’s Soaring Down South said that Thomas should consider moving to Atlanta.
Sure, Atlanta will not be among the title contenders next season after having a dismal record this year. But according to Duffy, the Hawks could be the perfect team for Thomas because he could get a lot of opportunity to run the show, especially if Atlanta decides to trade Dennis Schroder this summer.
The Hawks tried to trade Schroder before the deadline in February, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN. Atlanta could eventually revisit their interest in moving the veteran point guard to get future assets in the offseason. And if Schroder gets moved and Thomas signs with the Hawks, IT would get a starting role, thus earning an opportunity to prove that he can still perform at a high level if given the chance.
Duffy also said that signing Thomas makes a lot of sense for the Hawks. The 29-year-old point guard is not expected to ask for a lot of money and might be open to signing a one-year deal. He added that the two-time All-Star could make the Hawks competitive while developing their young talents. He could also attract more fans, and could eventually become a valuable trade chip for Atlanta if he manages to find his rhythm again soon.
Thomas played 17 games for the Lakers this season after getting traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers. He failed to finish the season, as he was forced to undergo arthroscopic surgery to address his lingering hip issues. According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, the seven-year veteran will be out for at least four months following the surgery.
In 17 games with the Lakers, Thomas showed flashes of brilliance, as he averaged 15.6 points and 5.0 rebounds. He also developed good chemistry with Lakers forward Julius Randle, and also found a way to contribute playing alongside young prospects such as Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.
Thomas also expressed interest in returning to Los Angeles next season, but it is clearly out of his control at this point. The Lakers have big ambitions this summer, as they are planning to chase max-level superstars such as LeBron James of the Cavaliers and Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder in free agency.