Now 15 games into his career as a Los Angeles Laker, we’ve seen a sort of new life out of Isaiah Thomas. Though his play and numbers are still largely lacking, we’ve seen glimpses of Thomas’ old All-Star self as he continues getting healthy.
Of course, Thomas’ impact on the Lakers is capped largely due to his bench role since they already roster their point guard of the future in Lonzo Ball. When Thomas was traded from Cleveland to LA, many saw it as a rental and that seems to be exactly what will unfold. Thomas recently told USAToday’s Sam Amick that despite currently coming off the bench, he isn’t a sixth man and his suitors this summer should be aware that he is a starter:
I’m not no sixth man, and I won’t be a sixth man (in the future). I just want everybody to know that, like clear as can be. I’m a two-time All-Star and a starter who has done things that a lot of people in this league haven’t done (when) given that opportunity.
“But I got traded into a situation I can’t control. There’s nothing bad against (Lakers coach) Luke Walton. There’s nothing bad against the Los Angeles Lakers. I’m taking advantage of the opportunity they’ve given me, and then (we’ll) end the season off strong. And that’s all I can do. I’m not coming in here saying, ‘Oh, I want this, or this is going to happen.’ No, that’s not me. I’m just going to come in here and be a professional, and when my name is called I’m going to be more than ready for any opportunity I’m given.”
As Isaiah Thomas pointed out, the 5’9″ dynamo has made the All-Star twice and was one of the few finalists for last year’s MVP award. Thomas had been subject to a bench role early in his career with the Phoenix Suns but has since blossomed into one of the league’s more effective scorers.
Though Thomas may not get the max contract he had in mind for this offseason, there will certainly still be teams interested in his services. Though the hip injury still poses an issue and his inefficiency this season won’t help things, IT should still be able to find a home willing to name him their starting point guard.
After a miserable stint with the Cavs prior to the trade deadline, Thomas has begun to round into shape as the season winds down with LA. The Washington product has averaged 15.9 points and 5.3 assists in 27 minutes per game with the Lakers thus far.