Monday, January 24, 2022

Isaiah Thomas to sign with Mavericks on 10-day contract after Lakers stint, per report

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Isaiah Thomas, coming off of a brief four-game stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, is signing a 10-day hardship exemption deal with the Dallas Mavericks, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Thomas, a former All-Star and MVP candidate with the Boston Celtics, is now joining his sixth team since getting traded in the 2017 offseason. He also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans and the Lakers twice.

Thomas had a few promising games for the Lakers, who were depleted by both injuries and COVID-19-related absences. He averaged 16 points on reasonably efficient shooting numbers in his first two games with the Lakers… but then shot just 2-of-16 from the field in his last two. 

Thomas’ 10-day contract was not renewed as the Lakers brought in Darren Collison and Stanley Johnson, so Thomas hit the open market again. Though he displayed significant offensive upside in those early Laker games, his defense remains a problem due to the athleticism he’s lost with age and his small stature at only 5-foot-9.

But the Mavericks could sorely use another ball-handler. They haven’t had Luka Doncic since Dec. 10 due to a combination of health and safety protocols and an injury, and Jalen Brunson has been forced to lead the offense without much help on the ball. Thomas, in theory, could provide a bit of relief, and if he scores enough, could perhaps stick in Dallas as a backup guard.

Even if he doesn’t, Thomas showed enough with the Lakers to at least continue earning chances. As long as teams have access to hardship exemptions during this outbreak, proven scorers like Thomas will have opportunities to stick with desperate teams. 

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