Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas seems to want to keep his options open for NBA free agency this summer. This is an understandable sentiment when considering that Thomas has been traded twice in less than a year after probably thinking he found a home with the Boston Celtics last year.
Instead, those Celtics traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a deal for Kyrie Irving. It led to some animosity between player and franchise, although Thomas tweeted recently that a reunion with the Celtics as a free agent this summer wasn’t out of the question.
Following his attempt to rehab with the Cavaliers, Cleveland dumped Thomas to the Lakers along with Channing Frye and a first-round pick in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.
It sounds like Thomas is happy they did, and hopes he can make Los Angeles a more permanent residence this summer. He explained why to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
“I like it here, I like the situation I’m in, the system, coaching staff,” Thomas said. “Organization’s been great to me. If things work out I would love to be here. You just never know. With free agency you’ve got to keep your options open. I have no complaints since I’ve stepped foot and put a Laker uniform on.”
Thomas has probably recouped some of the value he lost in Cleveland during his stint with the Lakers simply by not being a negative locker room presence and playing slightly better on the court.
But it’s unlikely anyone will be backing up the Brinks truck for him this offseason given how limited cap space is around the league.
With that reality in mind, Thomas is probably wise to not rule out any options. If he doesn’t get the types of offers he’s hoping for, there are probably worse situations than returning to Lakers on what presumably would be a one-year deal if the team’s bigger free agency plans don’t pan out.