Obviously, the Los Angeles Lakers' top target is still Carmelo Anthony, but someone has to fill the rest of the positions.
Per Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling, free-agent point guard Isaiah Thomas is on the Lakers' radar.
Hearing Lakers are "real possibility" for Isaiah Thomas. Heat still pursuing, but LA has the $. Nothing happens 'til Melo & Bron make moves.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 6, 2014
Whether L.A. grabs Melo or not, a proven point guard like Thomas would be an asset to the purple and gold. Though undersized at 5'9", Thomas is strong, sturdy and tough.
He has the ideal mental makeup to play alongside Kobe Bryant, and his ability to make the jump shot doesn't hurt the fit. Thomas averaged 20.3 points, 6.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game while making 35 percent of his three-point attempts.
Thomas is only 25 years old, so his best years are still ahead of him. That's the kind of player the Lakers should be looking to commit to.
The Sacramento Kings, Thomas' current squad, have reportedly low-balled the three-year veteran. Per Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee, the Kings' offer to Thomas was at least $3 million less than what was requested.
The Kings and Thomas posted this on Facebook after the season, but obviously the Kings weren't impressed enough by his numbers:
The Kings have already agreed to terms with Darren Collison. Per Voisin, the Kings view him as a cheaper, more pure point guard option. Voisin writes:
The chronic overdribbling, slow tempo, and lack of spacing and movement became a disease that spread with every bounce of the ball. It was as hard on the eyeballs as it was on the wooden floor.
Thomas was hardly the only culprit, but he was the primary ballhandler, the player relied upon to establish pace and facilitate an offense, while harassing opposing ballhandlers, and in that sense, he was simply miscast.
Thomas is definitely a shoot-first point guard, but that shouldn't be an issue playing alongside Kobe Bryant. The Mamba is one of the most respected players in the league. There's no question he would still get the most looks—assuming Melo doesn't come to L.A.
That said, the Lakers need a perimeter player who isn't afraid to play aggressively and one who can take some pressure off Bryant with explosive scoring performances.
Thomas is capable of that.
Whether he's a small piece to a championship contender with Melo and Kobe or just a player to help keep the squad respectable, Thomas is a smart target for the Lakers.