Two years ago, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Isaiah Thomas was seen as a player who was in line for a huge payday. He ended the 2016-17 NBA season averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists on 46.3 percent shooting from the field and 37.9 percent from beyond the arc, and led the Boston Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals. Unfortunately, Thomas’ dream of signing a maximum contract was ruined when he suffered an injury.
The Celtics rewarded his loyalty by trading him to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving. After struggling to make himself fit in LeBron James’ squad, Isaiah Thomas was once again moved to the Lakers where he was forced to accept a bench role. The tragic 2017-18 NBA season will definitely have a huge effect on his upcoming free agency, and as of now, Thomas may have accepted the fact that no team in the league will risk giving him a maximum contract or even a long-term deal.
Isaiah Thomas should find a team where he could sign a one or two-year deal with a player option in the second year. Though he’s no longer expected to seek a huge payday, Thomas needs to find a team that can grant him a starting role to prove every NBA team that he is 100 percent healthy and still an All-Star.
One of the NBA teams who could give him that opportunity is the Indiana Pacers. Despite losing in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, Pacers President Kevin Pritchard is happy with how his team performed this year. The Pacers entered the season without Paul George on their roster, making some people believe that they could finish as one of the lottery teams.
However, the newly acquired Victor Oladipo showed that the Pacers are still a significant team in the Eastern Conference. Pritchard has strong belief that Oladipo can develop into a real superstar and lead the Pacers back to title contention. However, in order to strengthen their chance of fully dominating the East, they will need help from an experienced superstar, and adding someone like Isaiah Thomas makes sense. According to NBA.com, Pritchard revealed that they will keep every option open in the upcoming offseason, including the possibility of chasing a big name in free agency.
By adding Thomas, opposing teams’ defenses will no longer be focused on Oladipo, which could help him perform better on the offensive end. Signing Thomas to a short-term deal will also enable the Pacers to chase superstar free agents in the summer of 2019. If Thomas fits well in Indiana, he and the Pacers may agree to work together in the years to come.