Lakers Rumors: LA 'Strongly' Eyed Isaiah Thomas; Rajon Rondo 'Clearly Changed Things'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 29, 2021

New Orleans Pelicans' Isaiah Thomas (24) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly "strongly considering" signing Isaiah Thomas before Rajon Rondo reached a buyout agreement with the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported Thomas appeared likely bound for Los Angeles, only for plans to change when Rondo became available. Rondo is set to return to the Lakers after splitting the 2020-21 season with the Hawks and Clippers.

Thomas, an All-Star and second-team All-NBA selection in 2016-17, played only three games last season with the Pelicans. His career has been derailed by a chronic hip injury, as he has not appeared in more than 40 games in the last four seasons, with the injury sapping him of the quickness that made him capable of reaching All-Star heights despite his 5'9" stature.

Thomas made headlines this summer with an explosive 81-point game in a Seattle Pro-Am and has drawn interest from NBA teams but has seemingly yet to land a firm offer. Marc Stein reported the Celtics had an interest in a reunion, but that was likely thwarted when the team signed Dennis Schroder to a one-year deal.

It's possible, if not likely, that Thomas will have to settle for a non-guaranteed invite to an NBA camp or even take the G League route if he wants to resume his NBA career. 

Rondo, meanwhile, will join a Lakers roster that increasingly looks like it was built using NBA 2K15, for better and (potentially) for worse. The Lakers will have 10 players 32 years old or older once Rondo signs.