Isaiah Thomas is going to be one of the most intriguing names to follow this offseason when NBA free agency opens up. Just one short year ago, he was considered to be a superstar and one of the best point guards in the league. Now, he is an undersized guard who has injury issues that isn’t viewed as an interesting free agent for many teams.
During his tenure with the Boston Celtics, Thomas blossomed into one of the league’s most dynamic scorers. He was the star in Boston, but the trade that sent him to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving changed everything. Thomas didn’t fit with LeBron James and the Cavaliers and was traded ahead of the deadline to the Los Angeles Lakers.
He wasn’t awful with the Lakers, but he did have to get shut down before the end of the season due to the same nagging hip injury that bothered him in the playoffs last season. His free agency value has taken a major hit and he will likely sign a one- or two-year deal to prove that he can get back to his star level.
During the 2017-18 season with the Cavaliers and Lakers, Thomas ended up averaging 15.2 points per game to go along with 4.8 assists and 2.1 rebounds. In the 17 games he played with the Lakers, Thomas’ shooting numbers were better than his tenure in Cleveland. Thomas shot 38.3 percent from the field overall and knocked down 32.7 percent of his three-point jumpers, which isn’t going to impress many.
At 29 years of age, Thomas is going to need to find a good fit for himself this offseason. If he doesn’t, his career could end up taking a major turn for the worse moving forward.
According to a prediction from 247 Sports, the Detroit Pistons could end up being the free agency landing spot for Thomas this offseason.
Detroit would make a lot of sense for Thomas. Reggie Jackson simply hasn’t gotten the job done as the starting point guard and Stan Van Gundy was just fired from his head coaching position. Bringing in a piece like Thomas would be a low-risk move for a fraction of the price that Thomas would have gone for if he hadn’t gotten hurt.
Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond need more help if the Pistons are going to make a run to the playoffs. Thomas may not be the piece that powers them to the playoffs, but if he can turn things around he could get back to being a 20-points-per-game scorer. That kind of production from the point guard spot would be a huge step in the right direction.
In 2017, Detroit finished the year with a 39-43 record. That record wasn’t good enough to get them into the playoffs.
Thomas wouldn’t be signed to be the “savior” of the franchise, but he could be exactly the kind of point guard that helps Detroit get back into playoff contention.