Isaiah Thomas is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming offseason, together with his former Sacramento Kings teammate DeMarcus Cousins. Both superstars just came from horrible injuries that are expected to affect their value on the free agency market. On Twitter, a fan suggested that Thomas and Cousins should consider playing together on one team next season, and the All-Star point guard seems interested in making the reunion happen.
Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report listed potential NBA teams who could host the Cousins-Thomas reunion, including the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are Thomas’ current team, and despite his health issues, they are open to the possibility of re-signing the All-Star guard in free agency. Once Thomas secures a new contract, he could convince the Lakers to target Cousins next.
“As the Lakers look to get back to relevance, they’re going to be chasing big names in free agency. They’re expected to make hard pushes for LeBron James and Paul George, but if they strike out and need some star power to avoid coming home empty-handed, they could turn to Cousins. He’s a center, meaning he wouldn’t take playing time from young guns Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma or Brandon Ingram.”
Star-Telegram: Pursuit of DeMarcus Cousins could complicate Mavericks NBA Draft plans https://t.co/wrMFfbbmB0— DFW Sports Update (@DFWSportsUpdate) May 31, 2018
As Highkin noted, the Lakers will only consider signing Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins if they fail to acquire their top targets, LeBron James and Paul George. Cousins will be an ideal target for the Lakers, especially if Brook Lopez leaves this summer. When healthy, the 27-year-old center proves to be one of the most dominant big men in the league.
In 48 games last season, Cousins averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks on 47 percent shooting from the field and 35.4 percent from beyond the arc. He will undeniably boost the Lakers on both ends of the floor. However, given his recent injury, it makes sense for the Lakers to try giving him a short-term deal.
Meanwhile, Highkin believes it’s easier for the Lakers to sign Isaiah Thomas. Having his Bird rights, the Lakers could go over the salary cap just to bring him back. Thomas could have the same contract Kentavious Caldwell-Pope signed last summer, and he could use the 2018-19 NBA season to prove that he’s healthy and could return to his All-Star form.
However, as of now, it remains questionable if Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton will use Isaiah Thomas as Lonzo Ball’s starting backcourt partner next season. On paper, the starting lineup of Ball, Thomas, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and DeMarcus Cousins undeniably has a chance of earning a playoff spot in the Western Conference. With less than a month before free agency begins, it’s interesting to know if the Lakers will consider hosting the Thomas-Cousins reunion.