Since finishing fifth in voting for the 2016-17 MVP Award, it has not been an easy past year for Isaiah Thomas. From suffering a hip injury to being traded twice, there is doubt surrounding the two-time All-Star.
With Thomas having season-ending surgery on March 28 and an expected return timetable of four months, it will likely have an impact on his upcoming free agency. As there are very few teams with cap space and in need of a point guard, Thomas may have to settle for less on a short-term contract.
“The hip is doing great. I’m finally pain-free now. I think the biggest problem I had with that labrum, which everybody knows, I got that fixed. I decided to go ahead and get it fixed, really rehabbed hard, and I’m two months out. I’ve got three or four more weeks until I’m cleared to do everything. I’m excited about being able to be healthy again. I haven’t been healthy in a while.”
Based on this timeline, Thomas is at least a month ahead of schedule. Considering the severity of the injury, there will still be skepticism until he proves he can return to form on a consistent basis.
As for the Los Angeles Lakers, there is reportedly interest in re-signing Thomas depending on what happens in free agency. If they are not able to sign LeBron James and/or Paul George, Thomas returning to Los Angeles on a one-year deal to preserve cap space for next year is possible.
However, the challenge will be persuading him to accept a sixth man role behind Lonzo Ball. Although Thomas was willing to come off the bench in 17 games for head coach Luke Walton, he maintained a belief he is a starting-caliber player.
That confidence presumably will only grow now that Thomas more permanently addressed his hip issue.
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