The Los Angeles Lakers are exploring another stint with two-time All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, per HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto. The news comes just one day after the Lakers re-signed another familiar face, Dennis Schroder, to be part of the revamped backcourt.
“Sources: Two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers along with several players, including Armoni Brooks, Sharife Cooper, Mychal Mulder, and others, @hoopshype has learned,” Scotto tweeted on September 17, 2022.
After a brief hiatus, Thomas finally found himself back in the NBA over the last two seasons. Most recently, Thomas played for the Hornets where the guard averaged 8.3 points, 1.4 assists and 1.2 rebounds while shooting 39.7% from long range during 17 appearances in 2021-22.
Thomas Had 2 Previous Stints With the Lakers
Over the last two seasons, Thomas has also spent time with the Pelicans, Mavericks and Lakers. If Thomas signs with Los Angeles, it would mark the veteran’s third stint with the Lakers.
Thomas signed a 10-day contract with the Lakers on December 17, 2021 but the team opted not to sign him to another deal when it expired. The longtime Celtics guard averaged 9.3 points, two rebounds and 1.5 assists during his four appearances with Los Angeles last season.
Last offseason, Thomas worked out with LeBron James and Russell Westbrook sparking rumors about a potential return to the Lakers. Thomas played 17 games for Los Angeles during the 2017-18 season. The Lakers were close to signing Thomas prior to the start of the 2021-22 season before Rajon Rondo became available after receiving a buyout.
“I was very close, like I really believe if the Rondo buyout didn’t happen I would have been a Laker and, all respect to Rondo and respect to the Lakers organization, but I was around those guys a little bit,” Thomas told Stadium’s Shams Charania during a December 14, 2021 interview. “They see, I was able to work out with Bron and Westbrook, so they seen me in my element, and they see me back to the person I am.
“So, things happen I can’t control that, but I was very close to signing with the Lakers and that would probably be a really good opportunity to be able to play with such great players and to be able to learn from them great players and be around an organization like the Lakers again. That would have been super dope, but it didn’t happen and you got to move forward.”
Cooper Is a Former 5-Star Prospect
Former Hawks guard Sharife Cooper is another intriguing name who the Lakers hosted for a workout. Cooper was once a five-star high school prospect before having a standout career at Auburn. The promising guard was unable to carve out playing time during his rookie season in Atlanta behind a deep Hawks backcourt. During an exclusive pre-draft interview with Heavy in July 2021, Cooper reflected on what it would be like to play with LeBron James if he ever got the chance.
“That’s somebody that I looked up to all my life,” Cooper said at the time. “He’s kind of been in the league since I was born. So, it would be amazing to play with him. It would also be amazing to lace up my shoes and go up against him. So, I’m looking forward to both of ’em [either option].”