With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continuing to make its way through the NBA, the league decided to make some rule changes to allow teams to sign players to 10-day contracts via Hardship Exception while others are out. The Los Angeles Lakers have taken full advantage of this, bringing in four replacement players while just about half their roster has been in health and safety protocols.
One of them was veteran point guard Isaiah Thomas, who is trying to make an NBA comeback after dealing with hip injuries the last few seasons.
Thomas impressed in his lone G League game this season, which led to him earning a 10-day contract with the Lakers after the team also showed interest in him over the Summer.
The 32-year-old made an immediate impact for L.A., scoring 19 points in his debut and then following it up with a 13-point performance. His last two games weren’t as good though as he only had a combined five points on 2-of-16 shooting and 0-of-9 from three, which led to him being a DNP on Christmas Day against the Nets.
His 10-day contract is coming to an end though and according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, he will not be staying with the Lakers:
The Lakers and Isaiah Thomas won’t do a second 10-day contract, making him a free agent, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Multiple teams are expected to express interest in Thomas, who averaged 9.3 points in four games for Lakers.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 26, 2021
Even though Thomas has played poorly the last two games, this is more about the Lakers getting their main players back as Talen Horton-Tucker, Dwight Howard, Malik Monk and Avery Bradley have all exited health and safety protocols in recent days with Austin Reaves and Kent Bazemore soon to follow.
While Thomas’ second stint with the Lakers was short-lived, it is good to see Charania report that other teams are expressing interest in him. A number of other teams are also dealing with COVID outbreaks so it shouldn’t be long before he catches on somewhere for at least another 10 days.
Rondo enters protocols
Although it’s not happening, one reason why it was possible that Thomas would stick around with the Lakers for another 10 days was that they placed point guard Rajon Rondo in protocols on Sunday morning.
With players expected to return though and the Lakers also recently signing Darren Collison to a 10-day contract, it seems the Lakers feel they have enough to get by moving forward even without Thomas.
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