Isaiah Thomas will not play vs. Grizzlies, Pistons
After missing the first 36 games of the 2017-18 NBA season due to a hip injury, Isaiah Thomas only appeared in 15 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers before they traded him, Channing Frye and a 2018 first round draft pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson. By missing so many games, Thomas is still trying to find his rhythm as many wonder if he can even return to his former self.
According to Bill Oram of Orange County Register, Thomas will not play in the final two games of the road trip due to a sore hip:
Isaiah Thomas is out for the final two games of the trip with a sore hip.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) March 24, 2018
With the Lakers already dealing with numerous injuries, this is another challenge for head coach Luke Walton and company during the final stretch of the season. As Walton has already shortened his rotation and is playing his starters major minutes, Tyler Ennis will likely get an opportunity to fill Thomas’ minutes.
For Thomas, it has been an up-and-down season. While the 29-year-old has shown spurts of his former self, he has struggled with his efficiency. In 17 games with the Lakers, Thomas is averaging 15.6 points (38.3 percent from the field and 32.7 percent from the three-point line), 2.1 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in 26.8 minutes.
As Walton has given Thomas opportunities to play major minutes and close out games, it will be interesting to see what happens in free agency. Although all the talk has been about Los Angeles signing two max contract players in the offseason, there are scenarios where Thomas could return if they ultimately strike out and want to preserve cap space for 2019. However, the 29-year-old believes he is a starter and it is difficult seeing him start ahead of Lonzo Ball.