Los Angeles Lakers point guard Isaiah Thomas is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Despite missing the most of the 2017-18 NBA season due to injury, the 29-year-old veteran guard remains optimistic that he won’t have a hard time finding a new team when he hits the free agency market. Frank Urbina of HoopsHype listed teams who could be potential suitors for Thomas in the upcoming offseason, including the Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls entered the season with the goal of undergoing a rebuild. They are currently in 13th spot in the Eastern Conference with 27-54 record. Their decision to tank will help them acquire another young and promising player in the 2018 NBA draft. With the clock ticking for Bulls Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson and General Manager Gar Forman, Chicago is also expected to make a huge splash in free agency.
Isaiah Thomas may have gone through ups and downs since being traded by the Boston Celtics. But, he managed to prove himself in few games playing for the Lakers. Before being sidelined for the rest of the season, Thomas showed a huge improvement, averaging 15.6 points and five assists on 38.3 percent shooting from the field and 32.7 percent from beyond the arc.
As Urbina noted, signing Isaiah Thomas could give Paxson and Forman some job security going forward. The Bulls may have invested on Kris Dunn as their point guard of the future, but he still not someone who can immediately help the team make their presence felt next season. After undergoing a successful hip surgery, Thomas is very confident that he can regain his All-Star form once he sets foot on the court again.
“I’ll be healthy by then,” Thomas said (h/t SB Nation’s Silver Screen And Roll). “I should be fully recovered between three to four months.”
The potential acquisition of Thomas will give the Bulls a reliable option on the offensive end of the floor. He could also be a mentor to Chicago’s young point guard like Dunn and Cameron Payne. When one of the Bulls’ young guards shows massive improvement, Thomas could come off the bench like he did in Los Angeles.
In a potential contract negotiation with Thomas, Urbina suggested that the Bulls could offer a two-year deal worth $16 million with a player option in the second year. After a disappointing season, Thomas is no longer expected to demand a maximum contract. Signing a short deal will help him prove that he’s still capable of dropping huge numbers every night which will give him the opportunity to have a huge payday in the summer of 2019.