The Los Angeles Lakers are signing former All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day contract, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Lakers can fit Thomas on their team due to a hardship exemption granted to them because of all of their currently absent players. Dwight Howard, Talen Horton-Tucker and Malik Monk were all in the NBA’s health and safety protocols as of Wednesday’s win over the Dallas Mavericks, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin, Russell Westbrook will now be joining them. Soon after Westbrook’s absence became known, Charania reported that Avery Bradley is also now in the protocols. Neither Kendrick Nunn nor Trevor Ariza have played yet this season due to injury. 

Thomas, who has been in and out of the NBA in recent years, scored 42 points in his recent G League debut with the Grand Rapids Gold. He played three games for the New Orleans Pelicans last season, and has also had brief stints with the Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards in recent years. This will not be the first time Thomas will play with LeBron James, as they shared the floor for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2017-18 season, nor will it be his first time with the Lakers, as he was dealt to Los Angeles in that same season. 

But Thomas made his name as a professional with the Boston Celtics. He made two All-Star teams in green and white and scored 28.9 points per game during the 2016-17 season. He injured his hip in the 2017 playoffs, though, and was promptly dealt to Cleveland in a package for Kyrie Irving. He hasn’t been the same since, and it isn’t clear how much he still has left in the tank physically. He was a poor defender even at his peak due in large part to his small stature, but he has also struggled on the offensive side of the court since getting injured.

With Westbrook now set to miss some time, beggars can’t be choosers. The Lakers are desperate for healthy bodies right now considering all of the talent they’re missing. They worked Thomas out in the offseason and were apparently impressed enough to give him a chance now. With Westbrook, Monk and Horton-Tucker out, there’s plenty of room for Thomas to absorb some ball-handling responsibilities. He likely won’t play a significant role with James running the show, but if he can provide any decent minutes off the bench, this will have been a successful signing.

Courtesy: CBS Sports


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