Lakers’ Thomas has successful hip surgery
Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas had successful surgery on his injured hip.
The Lakers announced that he will be out for the rest of the season and his recovery time is four months. Thomas has played in just 17 games with the Lakers this season after initially suffering the injury with the Boston Celtics last spring.
Thomas reportedly left the Lakers earlier this week to travel across the country and get a second opinion on his hip injury. According to Lakers beat reporter Mike Trudell and Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times, the two-time All-Star guard went to New York in hopes of finding a solution for the injury that has compromised his ability to play since last year’s postseason.
Thomas has only shown flashes of the player that rocketed to stardom with the Celtics. Overall, he is shooting a career-worst 38.3 percent from the field while committing a career-high 3.2 turnovers per game.
The Cavaliers, who dealt Kyrie Irving in exchange for Thomas during the offseason, quickly moved on from the 5-foot-9 point guard. Cleveland dealt him to Los Angeles at the trade deadline, where he hoped to re-establish at least some of his value before hitting unrestricted free agency this summer.
According to Wojnarowski, if the Lakers miss out on landing free agents like LeBron James and Paul George, it may make the chances Thomas returns to the Lakers more likely:
If the Lakers are unsuccessful in those recruitments, it would significantly increase the front office’s interest in exploring one-year deals for the 2018-19 season to preserve future salary cap space, league sources told ESPN.
Lakers coach Luke Walton and the front office have been encouraged with Thomas’ fit with the team, and Walton felt he’s had a positive impact on the younger players, team sources told ESPN. However, the examination of his health and recovery will be paramount for any team deciding on making a contractual commitment to him.
The Lakers are pursuing James and George with two max contract salary slots and would need to renounce the rights to several players — including Thomas — to create the room to sign both All-Stars.
Because of the ongoing issues with his hip, Thomas is unlikely to get a significant long-term financial commitment on the free-agent market. The Lakers represent the possibility of a bridge season to show his ability to return to health and a high-level of performance.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times last week, Thomas told Ganguli that he was open to staying in L.A. — even in a reserve role. Those words came less than a week after Thomas told USA Today‘s Sam Amick that “I’m not no sixth man. And I won’t be a sixth man (in the future). I just want everybody to know that, like clear as can be …”
Additionally, Thomas told NBA.com’s Shaun Powell in a late February he wants a long-term deal in free agency. “I’m looking to sign a long-term deal this summer but anything can happen. I can’t control it and can’t worry too much about it. I was only in Sacramento for three years, Boston for almost three years and the other stops were temporary. I’m looking hopefully to sign long term and call someplace home.”
In 32 total games this season, Thomas is averaging 15.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 4.8 apg.