Isaiah Thomas’ return to the NBA was a long time coming. The Los Angeles Lakers brought him on a 10-day contract amid multiple players being out but it didn’t last long. The team decided not to bring him back past the 10 days, which sent him right back into free agency.
Instead of having to wait in free agency for months on end again, Thomas is quickly getting another opportunity. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the two-time All-Star is signing with the Dallas Mavericks.
Thomas won’t get long to adjust to his new team as the plan is for him to join them in Sacramento immediately and possibly play in Wednesday’s game against the Kings. He didn’t do much during his brief stint in Los Angeles but it’s possible he can have some scoring upside for a team. The Lakers mainly brought him in to replace Russell Westbrook, who briefly went into the NBA’s health and safety protocols. His stint in the protocols was much shorter than expected, which made the need for Thomas unnecessary.
He’ll only be receiving a 10-day contract with a hardship exemption, per Marc Stein.
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Any Chance Thomas Lands on a Roster Long-Term?
There was a time when Thomas was considered among the best guards in the NBA. A hip injury has derailed his career and he can’t seem to land on a roster consistently. The Mavericks could provide an interesting opportunity but aren’t likely to be his home for the rest of the year.
They have plenty of offensive talent on the roster and Thomas is a liability on defense. However, that doesn’t mean that he won’t catch on somewhere. A team that needs a bit of a scoring boost off the bench could use his talents. Teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers are playing great defense right now but aren’t nearly as good on offense. Thomas could give them some more scoring ability while others handle the defensive load.
Lakers Snap Losing Streak
Unfortunately for Thomas, right when he joined the Lakers, they went into their worst slump of the season. They lost all five games he was on the roster for. The losses aren’t his fault but he wasn’t a difference-maker like many fans hoped he would be. In the first game after Thomas’ contract wasn’t renewed, the Lakers beat the Houston Rockets 132-123.
One of the interesting moves the team made was starting LeBron James at center. It’s not a position he’s played much in his career but he always does well there.
“I think I’ve taken pride over the course of my career in being able to play five positions,” LeBron said, via ESPN. “Or at least know all five positions. Knowing the commands. So tonight … called for me to start at center and I just tried to be in a hell of a lot of plays.”
The Lakers are at the point where they have to do whatever they can to win and if that requires LeBron playing center more often, then so be it.