Isaiah Thomas has another shot in the NBA.
According to NBA Insider Marc Stein, the two-time All-Star will sign a 10-day hardship contract with the Lakers in light of the team’s COVID-19 outbreak.
The Lakers currently have five players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols: Russell Westbrook, Malik Monk, Dwight Howard, Talen Horton-Tucker and Avery Bradley.
Signing Thomas to a 10-day hardship contract allows the Lakers to stay safe above the minimum number of eight active players on a league roster to play games.
Thomas is finally earning another chance to return to the league with his final real season in 2019-20 with the Wizards. The 32-year-old is fully recovered from a devastating hip injury that derailed his career in 2017-18, and has shown it with strong displays with Team USA in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. in November.
He followed that up with one very Impressive outing in his G League debut Wednesday night with Nuggets affiliate Grand Rapids Gold.
In his 2021 G League debut, Thomas exploded for 42 points, eight assists and six rebounds while shooting 16 of 30 from the field. He displayed memories of his speed and prowess from his All-Star days with the Celtics, scoring in the lane without a hitch while showing touch on floaters as well. And that jump shot hasn’t gone anywhere, knocking down five 3-pointers to boot.
This will be Thomas’ second season with the Lakers in his career. He played 17 games for Los Angeles in 2017-18, averaging 15.6 points and 5.0 assists per game.
With Westbrook, Monk, Horton-Tucker and Bradley out, the Lakers are as thin as they can get at guard position. Thomas will compete with the likes of Rajon Rondo, Austin Reeves and Wayne Ellington for playing time, but there should be plenty of minutes available given the team’s lack of depth at the moment.
Let’s see what Thomas can do with this opportunity.