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Isaiah Thomas Rumors: 'Great Interest' in PG as Backup

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 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

Although he remains unsigned, there is reportedly "great interest" in free-agent guard Isaiah Thomas for a backup role, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

During an appearance on SportsCenter (beginning at the 1:20 mark), Wojnarowski suggested teams are encouraged by his health and hopeful that he can make an impact next season:

Wojnarowski also noted that Thomas will almost certainly be forced into signing a one-year deal due to the lack of salary-cap room across the NBA.

After consecutive All-Star seasons with the Boston Celtics in 2015-16 and 2016-17, Thomas was dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade last offseason.

He missed the first few months while recovering from hip surgery, and he clearly wasn't the same player when he returned.

Just 15 games into his Cavs tenure, the 29-year-old was shipped to the Los Angeles Lakers in a trade that sent Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson to Cleveland.

In 32 total games last season, Thomas averaged 15.2 points, 4.8 assists and 2.1 rebounds, while shooting 37.3 percent from the field and 29.3 percent from three-point range.

Thomas was better in L.A. than he was in Cleveland, which may be due to the fact that he came off the bench in 16 of his 17 games with the Lakers.

The days of Thomas averaging 28.9 points per game like he did in 2016-17 may be over, but there is a ton of upside in signing him.

He has put up more than 20 points per game in three of his seven NBA seasons, and he finished fifth in league MVP voting just two seasons ago.

If Thomas can improve his shooting after struggling in that regard last season, he can be a major offensive spark plug off the bench.

He also has averaged 22.6 points per game in 25 career playoff contests, making him an ideal target for contending teams.

Thomas won't get anything resembling the massive contract it looked like he was on track for less than two years ago, but the potential is there for him to be one of the best value signings of the offseason.

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