On Tuesday the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Isaiah Thomas would undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right hip. It’s the same hip that caused Thomas to miss the first half of the season and never completely healed as he rushed back so he could try to earn a big money contract this offseason.
Thomas is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and what kind of contract he will be able to earn is unclear, as he not at his best in his limited time on the court. A return to the Lakers apparently isn’t out of the question, however.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers still have interest in re-signing Thomas this summer:
Despite a looming surgical procedure on his right hip, the Los Angeles Lakers continue to hold an interest in exploring a free-agent deal with guard Isaiah Thomas this summer, league sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
This would be an interesting move, but obviously everything depends on the health of Thomas. If he can get back to 100 percent he is an All-Star caliber player, but if his explosion and speed take a hit because of this ongoing hip problem, it severely limits his ceiling.
There’s also the factor of the Lakers having their eyes on bigger prizes in free agency this summer as they will pursue the likes of LeBron James, Paul George, and DeMarcus Cousins with room for two max contracts. They also have a big decision to make on Julius Randle, who is a restricted free agent this summer.
If the Lakers are able to sign at least one of the aforementioned big names, along with re-signing Randle, it could become difficult for them to bring back Thomas without him taking significantly less money.
There are a lot of possibilities for the Lakers and even though Thomas has had his struggles this season, the team is wise to keep their options open if he can get his hip figured out.
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