There are rumors that Isaiah Thomas may have already played his last game for the Los Angeles Lakers after deciding to go through an arthroscopic hip surgery last month. The All-Star point guard is set to enter unrestricted free agency this July and several teams are rumored to be interested in signing him.
Hoops Hype’s Frank Urbina recently listed down four potential landing spots for the two-time NBA All-Star and one of them is the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs have struggled this season mostly playing without their best player, Kawhi Leonard, who is still sidelined by his mysterious quadriceps injury. Leonard has only suited up in nine games for head coach Gregg Popovich as he decided to follow the advice of his own team of doctors even though San Antonio’s medical staff have already cleared him to play.
Despite the deficiency, the Spurs still managed to qualify for the playoffs as the team secured seventh place in the Western Conference with a 47-35 record. However, this is the first time in 19 years that the franchise has failed to reach the 50-win mark in the regular season.
With former starting point guard Tony Parker now only a shell of his former self and Dejounte Murray seemingly not yet ready to take over the starting job, getting Thomas could be the “game-changer” the Spurs are looking for at the one-guard spot next season, Urbina said.
Thomas, 29, has had hip issues all throughout the season. He initially acquired the injury in an accidental collision with Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns last season when he was still with the Boston Celtics. He played through the injury but was eventually shut down by Boston after Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Ironically, the Celtics traded him along with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the 2018 first-round pick from Brooklyn to the Cavs in exchange for Kyrie Irving. He was sidelined for the first 36 games of the season before finally making his season debut for Cleveland in early January versus the Portland Trail Blazers.
However, Thomas went on to play only 15 games for the Cavs before he was traded again, this time to the Lakers at the deadline a month later. He suited up in 17 games for head coach Luke Walton before undergoing a season-ending surgery.
Urbina noted that the Spurs could offer Thomas a two-year, $17 million deal, which is similar to what the team gave veteran wingman Rudy Gay last summer. The projected salary would only be a $2 million increase from what Thomas is earning right now.
Reports are out that Thomas has been expecting a max salary offer this summer. However, with the way the last 12 months have turned out, there is only a slim chance that his ambition could happen.