For years since Isaiah Thomas‘ glory days on the Boston Celtics in 2017, people have been questioning if he’s really deserving of an NBA roster spot. His height has been questioned, which was a large part of him being selected 60th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft. Thomas has been called a defensive liability, again in large part due to his height. With recent and old nagging injuries, people have questions if Thomas can play throughout an entire NBA season. However, after Thomas finally got a chance to play in the NBA this season, it’s clear that he belongs.
In his first game playing in the NBA this season, Thomas led the entire Los Angeles Lakers in scoring-no small feat with a team that features Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony. Thomas scoring 19 points against the Timberwolves in only 21 minutes, and even though the Lakers lost, it was by no fault of Thomas. The entire Lakers team played well, but they were all outplayed by Karl Anthony-Towns, who dropped 28 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks. It also didn’t help that D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley each went for 17 points.
Nonetheless, Thomas showcased his scoring ability many times, making multiple threes and tough shots inside the paint. While many other parts of his game have been up and down, Thomas has always showed he can generate offense. In a game I went to where many thought Thomas was washed up, he quietly dropped 20 points off the bench, showing that even when people completely disregarded him, he still managed to do the thing he does best… score.
This current contract with the Lakers is only for 10 days, and the only reason he was called up from the G League was because many Lakers had been placed in COVID-19 health and safety protocols. It doesn’t make much sense for the Lakers to keep Thomas after his contract is up, but I think there are multiple other teams that could use the services of a veteran point guard who is great in the locker room and creates points for himself and his teammates. Of course, the team that acquires him would have to be strong defensively so that they could cover up for his weaknesses on the other end of the floor.
Looking at solid defensive teams that could use a point guard, one team that comes to mind is the Memphis Grizzlies. They’ve been on a hot streak recently despite the loss of star point guard Ja Morant. Luckily players such as Jaren Jackson Jr, and Dillon Brooks have stepped up in his absence, but the team doesn’t have much depth at point guards. The other point guards on the roster are Tyus Jones, Jarrett Culver, and De’Anthony Melton, all of whom I’m confident Thomas can out-play. Memphis is a young roster, and Thomas would be a great addition to an already great squad.
Ironically, the team that traded Thomas in the first place, the Boston Celtics, could use his services this season. It seems as though Brad Stevens is trying to reassemble the 2017 Celtics that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, as they brought back Al Horford. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are still on the team; why not add Thomas back? All the fans in Boston love IT, and perhaps Thomas won’t hold a grudge against Boston anymore since Danny Ainge is no longer in the team’s front office.
Perhaps the San Antonio Spurs could also use a veteran point guard? Thomas could be a great mentor to Lonnie Walker and Dejounte Murray, while getting an opportunity to shine with one of the game’s greatest coaches. Whatever it may be, I find it difficult to believe that out of hundreds of roster spots, not one team is willing to give up one spot for a proven player who scored 81 points in a Pro-AM game and proved time and time again that he can play in the NBA.
Do you think Thomas will be signed by another team after his stint with the Lakers? Let me know in the comments below, don’t forget to follow the NBA Blog, and as always, have an awesome day!