Isaiah Thomas Open to Lakers Return 'If Things Work Out'

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers' Isaiah Thomas argues a call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Monday, March 19, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Isaiah Thomas is keeping an open mind when it comes to his impending free agency.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times' Tania Ganguli on Tuesday, Thomas said he will consider re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers "if things work out."

"I like it here, I like the situation I'm in, the system, coaching staff," Thomas said. "Organization's been great to me. If things work out, I would love to be here. You just never know. With free agency, you've got to keep your options open. I have no complaints since I've stepped foot and put a Laker uniform on."

Thomas has embraced a backup role since the Cleveland Cavaliers traded him to the Lakers—namely because he hasn't had a choice.

Head coach Luke Walton has prioritized starters' minutes for rookie Lonzo Ball, leaving Thomas to contribute as a volume scorer off the bench. To date, he's averaging 15.6 points in 26.9 minutes per game in purple and gold.

However, Thomas has made it abundantly clear he doesn't view himself as a reserve and that he will not be one next season.

"I'm not no sixth man," he told USA Today's Sam Amick. "And I won't be a sixth man (in the future). I just want everybody to know that, like clear as can be. I'm a two-time All-Star and a starter who has done things that a lot of people in this league haven't done (when) given that opportunity."

Those credentials are worthy of a starting gig, to be sure.

But given his deficiencies as a defender—he ranks 101st out of 102 point guards in ESPN's defensive real plus-minus with a minus-3.45—and spotty medical history, it's fair to wonder if teams will refrain from offering him lucrative, long-term deals to come aboard as their new starting floor general.

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