This season has already been a difficult one for the Los Angeles Lakers as far as injuries go as they have yet to see what their full roster together will look like.
This past week was the closest they’ve gotten as Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn, who have yet to make their season debuts, were the only remaining injured players.
That changed quickly though with the Lakers now dealing with their first coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers announced that Talen Horton-Tucker, Dwight Howard and Malik Monk had all entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols due to positive tests and will be out for the foreseeable future.
Now with seven players out and a number of them being guards, it appears the Lakers are bringing in some reinforcements. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers are bringing back a familiar face in guard Isaiah Thomas on a 10-day contract via the NBA’s hardship exemption:
Thomas is planning to sign a 10-day contract under the hardship exemption, sources said. https://t.co/cKmXwmgMWD
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 16, 2021
The NBA’s hardship exemption allows you to bring in an extra player if you have three or more players injured and are expected to miss at least three games, which is the case for L.A. at the moment.
According to Dan Woike of the L.A. Times though, it still needs to be approved by the league:
Sources confirm the Lakers are planning to sign veteran Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day hardship exception contract provided they’re granted one.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) December 16, 2021
It’s been a while since Thomas has seen NBA action due to hip issues, but he says he is healthy as ever and his play reflects it as scored 42 points to go along with eight assists and six rebounds in his NBA G League debut on Wednesday night.
Although it’s only a 10-day contract, it will be interesting to see if Thomas gets immediate playing time with the Lakers as a bit of an audition for a full-season contract.
Thomas reveals he almost signed with Lakers in offseason
In a recent interview, Thomas actually revealed that he almost signed with the Lakers this past summer after working out with the team and its stars. Rajon Rondo was eventually bought out and the Lakers signed him instead though, leaving Thomas without a place to play to begin the season.
Now that he is back with the Lakers though, where he spent some time in the 2016-17 season, this represents a prime opportunity to establish himself as an NBA player once again.
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