One of the most notable storylines this season has been Isaiah Thomas‘ inability to get on an NBA roster. He’s a two-time All-Star and has been lighting up basketball leagues in recent months. The Los Angeles Lakers have been a logical landing spot for him due to the fact that he played with the team in 2018.
After trying to get on an NBA roster, the time has finally come for Thomas. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the veteran guard is signing with the Lakers.
Per Charania, Thomas is getting a 10-day contract under the hardship exemption.
The Lakers are missing multiple players due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols so it makes sense to bring Thomas in right now. As Charania pointed out, the guard just put up 42 points in his NBA G League debut. It’s clear that Thomas is too good for the G League right now and the Lakers know that. It’s only a 10-day deal but this is the best opportunity he’s had this year. He should fit in well with a roster that is filled with veterans.
ALL the latest Los Angeles Lakers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!
Thomas Almost Signed With Lakers Earlier in Year
Thomas signing with the Lakers is a long time coming. He’s been linked to the team going back the last couple of seasons. In fact, he says that he would’ve been on the team had Rajon Rondo not become available before the season.
“I was very close, like, I really believe if the Rondo buyout didn’t happen, I would have been a Laker,” Thomas told Charania in a recent interview. “All respect to Rondo and to the Lakers organization but, you know, I was around those guys a little bit, they seen. I was able to work out with LeBron and Westbrook, so they seen me in my element and they seen me back to the person I am. So, you know, things happen, I can’t control that.”
“But I was very close to signing with the Lakers and that would have probably been a really good opportunity, to be able to play with such great players, to be able to learn from them great players and be around an organization like the Lakers again, that would have been super-dope,” continued Thomas. “But, it didn’t happen. And you gotta move forward.”
The Lakers recently won a title with Rondo playing a key role so it’s not a surprise they’d pick him over Thomas. However, he could be useful to the team right now as they wait for players to get out of the health and safety protocols.
Will Thomas Have a Role Immediately?
Right now, the Lakers are without Talen Horton-Tucker, Dwight Howard and Malik Monk due to the health and safety protocols. That’s not taking into account Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn, who are both injured right now. Los Angeles is getting shorthanded so the stars could be aligning for Thomas to have a role immediately. That’s especially the case as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Russell Westbrook is entering the COVID-19 protocols shortly after Thomas signed.
The Lakers are heading to Minnesota to play the Timberwolves on Friday so that could be Thomas’ debut this season. Since he was in the G League, he’s already been dealing with COVID-19 protocols so he should be ready to go. It remains to be seen how soon he’ll see the court but Los Angeles could put him on the court against the Timberwolves considering he’s been staying in basketball shape.
READ NEXT: Teams Interested in Talen Horton-Tucker: 3 Best Trade Packages for Lakers