Isaiah Thomas came into the 2017-18 NBA season hoping to help LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers make another run at the NBA Finals. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out like the Cavaliers and Thomas were expecting. Due to the slow start, Thomas was traded ahead of the trade deadline to the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal that sent Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance to the Cavaliers.
It was a move that shocked the NBA and has left Thomas’ future unclear. He is set to hit free agency this coming offseason, where his price tag could have been hurt a bit due to his disappointing season.
While he may end up having to take a bit less than he had hoped, there are quite a few teams that will be searching for point guard help. There are other teams that will be looking for a scoring boost. One of those teams could be the Indiana Pacers, who are having an impressive season after moving on from Paul George.
Victor Oladipo has become a legitimate superstar, while the Pacers have a deep roster surrounding him. Myles Turner has true star potential, Domantas Sabonis is a rising player, and the Pacers have great role players like Darren Collison, Cory Joseph, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, and Lance Stephenson on the roster as well.
Looking ahead to the upcoming offseason, why would Thomas make sense for the Pacers at the right price?
First of all, adding another scorer wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Pacers. When they have been forced to play without Oladipo this season, the Pacers have yet to pick up a single win. Scoring was their biggest issue in those games.
Thomas may not be a good defender, but he certainly brings scoring to the table. He is small, but he can create for his teammates.
Since being traded to the Lakers, Thomas has settled into a bench role nicely. He has averaged 16.1 points per game to go along with 5.5 assists. Thomas has knocked down just 39.2 percent of his shots, which has been a bit of an issue, but shooting isn’t something that will be a struggle permanently for the talented scorer.
Playing the point guard position in Indiana wouldn’t be as easy for Thomas as he had it with the Boston Celtics. Thomas was the face of the Celtics’ franchise and their leading scorer. He would have to find the balance of utilizing his scoring ability and still giving Oladipo the respect of being the go-to scorer.
While some may think that Thomas has attitude issues after his stint with the Cavaliers, that is far from the truth. He has fit in everywhere except for Cleveland, and his teammates have loved him. Indiana has a great locker room full of players who truly like each other, and it seems likely that Thomas would fit well in that kind of an environment.
All of that being said, the Pacers should not be willing to pay a maximum contract for Thomas. If his price tag comes down a bit from that area, they should consider him. He certainly would be an upgrade for the Pacers at the point guard position, even though Collison and Joseph have both been solid this season.
Indiana knows that they are a piece or two away from being real contenders in the East. Signing Thomas would be a start, but that isn’t the move that will vault them ahead of the rest of the conference. Kevin Pritchard is an extremely smart general manager, which should give Pacers’ fans reason for calm.
There is a good chance that the Pacers will not show interest in Thomas, but plenty of links have been made between the two parties. Even ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has mentioned the Pacers as a team that could sign Thomas.
It is going to be a very entertaining offseason to keep an eye on the Pacers. Pritchard is going to be aggressive as he tries to get Indiana back to the top of the East, and Thomas could be a potential target.