Isaiah Thomas had a few good moments with the Los Angeles Lakers but the team has decided not to bring him back for a second 10-day stint.
Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported the news on Thomas, which comes with a bit of silver lining for the veteran guard, who has been fighting for years to get back into the league on a consistent basis.
“The Lakers and Isaiah Thomas won’t do a second 10-day contract, making him a free agent,” Charania reported. “Multiple teams are expected to express interest in Thomas, who averaged 9.3 points in four games for Lakers.”
Thomas’ shining moment came in his first game with the Lakers, scoring a team-high 19 points in just 22 minutes off the bench.
“They really cheered for me, and this is an away game,” Thomas said after the game. “Those moments mean more to me than anything, because people respect what I do, people respect the grind I’m on. Me being 5-foot-9 helps. I’m a normal person’s height. People cheer for me because of that.”
But the Lakers are already dealing with defensive issues and Thomas being on the court didn’t help. He fell completely out of the rotation during Saturday’s Christmas Day matchup against the Nets, which was a sign he probably would not be coming back.
The Lakers lost veteran guard Rajon Rondo to the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Sunday, so they’ll have to bring in one more new player with Thomas also out of the picture.
Stanley Johnson Making Case for Lakers Roster Spot
The Lakers roster is currently in flux due to injuries and the league’s health and safety protocols, with multiple guys getting auditions via 10-day contracts to earn a roster spot.
Stanley Johnson is one of those players and made a case for himself with some rotational minutes against the Nets, showing off some strong defensive play.
“When you think about basketball for me, one of the things that helped me fall in love with basketball was watching the Lakers play,” Johnson said after the game. “I think being able to play for the Lakers and on this day, it’s a special day in the NBA. It’s something that I’ll remember for a long time.”
Prior to signing with the Lakers, Johnson had appeared in 371 career games (77 starts) for the Raptors, Pelicans and Pistons, averaging 6.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 19.7 minutes. He most recently played six games for the South Bay Lakers, averaging 15.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals in 30.6 minutes per game.
LeBron James: ‘I’m Not a Patient Person’
It’s been a rough run for the Lakers, who have lost their last five in a row. LeBron James has done his part with some massive games — including scoring more than 30 in the team’s last four games.
In most circumstatances, James would be upset. However, the four-time MVP understands that multiple key players and head coach Frank Vogel being out makes it hard to judge their team.
“I’m not a very patient person, but without our head coach, just getting guys back, still missing a few, I just try to stay even-keeled,” James said after the game. “No one is going to feel sorry for us.”
The Lakers will look to stop their skid as they face off against the Rockets on Tuesday.