Free-agent point guard Isaiah Thomas has once again been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers as the team looks to fill out their roster. After making two signings from their Summer League roster, the Lakers have one roster spot remaining heading into the season. NBA insider Marc Stein reported the Lakers are considering a reunion with Thomas.
“The Los Angeles Lakers still have a few roster spots open and have weighed using one of them to sign former All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, league sources say,” Stein detailed. “The addition of Thomas is far from assured, sources stressed, but the Lakers are looking for additional backcourt punch as well as wing depth as they decide how to supplement the 12 veteran players they have under contract.”
Thomas Just Scored 81 Points in a Seattle Pro-Am Game
The news comes just days after Thomas dropped 81 points in Jamal Crawford’s CrawsOver League in Seattle. The video below featuring an emotional Thomas after the game went viral.
“I wasn’t showing y’all a snippet of me being emotional so y’all can feel sorry 4 me,” Isaiah explained on Twitter. “Hell no!!! My life is GREAT!! I was showing y’all that to see what it feels like to give everything you have to something you love and to see it slowly coming back where it’s suppose to be TMC 🏁. …That emotion was tied up from the last 4yrs battling every single day!!! I ain’t talking about the “league” giving up on me lol. THE WORLD GAVE UP ON ME & WAS S******* ON ME WHILE I WAS DOWN AND OUT!! When you love something you’ll do whatever it takes to get that!!!”
The Lakers Are Not Concerned About I.T.’s Relationship With LeBron: Report
Thomas’ brief partnership with LeBron James in Cleveland did not end on the best of terms, prompting plenty to question whether the Lakers superstar would co-sign the guard’s potential addition. During a March 2018 feature, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst detailed a moment that pointed to the tension between James and Thomas.
“Eight months later, James made a breathtaking buzzer-beater to win an overtime game against the Minnesota Timberwolves,” McMenamin and Windhorst explained. “Thomas, now his teammate, was one of the first people to reach James to celebrate. James ignored him, practically turning his back as he embraced others.
“…But James knew something Thomas didn’t — that the Cavs intended to trade Thomas the next day — and his cold response made it clear. And the feelings were never as warm as they had been when Thomas was a defeated playoff combatant. It was a symbolic moment that bookended a bizarre and unpleasant few months for the two men.”
Stein reported that the Lakers are not concerned about the players’ previous stint together with the Cavaliers. There are no indications that James would stand in the way of Thomas joining the Lakers.
“Although the Lakers have already traded for Russell Westbrook, and then signed Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard to join LeBron James and Anthony Davis in a locker room teeming with current and former All-Stars, sources say that the Lakers do not regard Thomas’ bumpy stint alongside James in Cleveland during the first half of the 2017-18 season as a deterrent,” Stein added. “The larger question is whether Thomas is the best candidate for an end-of-the-roster role.”
The Celtics Have Also Been Linked to Thomas
Stein reported the Celtics have also shown an interest in signing Thomas, but the addition of Dennis Schroder likely signals the end of a potential Boston reunion. The two-time All-Star has played sparingly over the last six seasons as he dealt with a hip injury.
Thomas played in three games for the Pelicans last season before being released after averaging 7.7 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 16 minutes per contest. The point guard played in 40 games, including 37 games, for the Wizards during the 2019-20 season notching 12.2 points, 3.7 assists and 1.7 rebounds while shooting 41.3% from behind the three-point line.