The Los Angeles Lakers will be without guard Isaiah Thomas for the rest of the season thanks to hip surgery. Thomas arrived in Los Angeles last month after a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers and became a spark plug off the bench for Los Angeles.
Overall, his 2017-2018 season was a disappointment as Thomas was never able to regain the form that he showed the previous season while a member of the Boston Celtics. The timing of his hip injury last summer, and it’s effect on his athleticism, couldn’t have been worse. Now Thomas heads into free agency with an uncertain future.
Few NBA teams currently need a starting-caliber point guard, especially one with the defensive limitations that come with the 5’9″ Thomas. With cap space in short supply, he could find a very cold market come July.
All of that could be good news for the Lakers, who reportedly have interest in bringing Thomas back but may not have a huge contract to offer. They will initially focus on signing superstars like LeBron James and Paul George, but should they fall short they will still need to field a competitive team that can help their young players grow.
Thomas could conceivably fit that mold as a veteran in the locker room who still has something to prove. He is also, on paper, a decent fit with Lonzo Ball, who can help hide Thomas’ defensive issues while taking advantage of his ability to create shots for himself.
While this season hasn’t gone the way that Thomas was hoping, it’s possible that his latest setback allows him to stay in Los Angeles for a little longer.