The Los Angles Lakers nearly signed a two-time All-Star guard in the offseason.
Although Isaiah Thomas is now a member of the Denver Nuggets’ G-League affiliate after signing with the Grand Rapids Gold, the 32-year-old guard nearly signed with the Lakers in the offseason.
The veteran guard revealed the information during an interview with Shams Charania on Tuesday, December 14.
“I was very close, like, I really believe if the Rondo buyout didn’t happen, I would have been a Laker,” says Thomas. “All respect to Rondo and to the Lakers organization but, you know, I was around those guys a little bit, they seen. I was able to work out with LeBron and Westbrook, so they seen me in my element and they seen me back to the person I am. So, you know, things happen, I can’t control that.”
“But I was very close to signing with the Lakers and that would have probably been a really good opportunity, to be able to play with such great players, to be able to learn from them great players and be around an organization like the Lakers again, that would have been super-dope,” continued Thomas. “But, it didn’t happen. And you gotta move forward.”
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Thomas Still Trying to Find Stable NBA Destination
Thomas was actually a member of the Lakers during the 2017-18 season after he was traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers. That also happened to be the season that he teamed up with LeBron James.
Over the past four seasons, Thomas has bounced from team to team. The 5-foot-9 point guard has played for the Lakers, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Washington Wizards and New Orleans Pelicans in that time frame.
While Thomas has struggled to find stability in the league as of late, he was once an MVP candidate with the Boston Celtics. Thomas led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016-17 season while ranking fifth in the league with 28.9 points per game.
However, Thomas hasn’t been the same since playing through a hip injury during the 2017 postseason.
He’s played in just 87 games while averaging no more than 15.2 points per game since the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.
Thomas Worked out With Lakers in August
Thomas was reported to have worked out with the Lakers over the summer before Rajon Rondo was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rondo was then picked up by the Lakers after being waived by the T-Wolves.
When asked to spill details on his reported workout with Los Angeles, Thomas didn’t spill any beans during an interview on ESPN’s “The Jump” back in August.
“I wanna try to keep that in-house,” said Thomas. “I mean I saw there was something out there from the other day. I’ve been in the gym with some highly talented guys. … Yeah I’ve been in the gym with who you think I’ve been in the gym with.”
Thomas also spoke of his desire to return as a full-time player in the NBA.
“That’s the only goal. That’s the only goal…is to be in the NBA and to be on a roster.” said Thomas. “I know I got the talent to do it. I’m finally healthy. I’m just waiting on the opportunity. I know at some point, when it does come, I’ll take full advantage of it and I’ll do it with a smile on my face.”