Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Lakers pursue intriguing 2-time All-Star: Report

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The Los Angeles Lakers are exploring another stint with two-time All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas. per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The news comes just a day after the Lakers signed another familiar face, Dennis Schroder, for the redesigned backcourt.

“Sources: Two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas has been coaching for the Los Angeles Lakers along with several players including Armoni Brooks, Sharife Cooper, Mychal Mulder and others, @hoopshype has learned,” Scotto tweeted on September 17, 2022.

After a brief hiatus, Thomas finally found himself back in the NBA for the past two seasons. Thomas most recently played for the Hornets, where the guard averaged 8.3 points, 1.4 assists and 1.2 rebounds while shooting 39.7% from long range in 17 appearances in 2021-22.

In the past two seasons, Thomas has also spent time with the Pelicans, Mavericks and Lakers. If Thomas signs with Los Angeles, it would be the veteran’s third stint with the Lakers.

Thomas signed a 10-day contract with the Lakers on December 17, 2021, but the team chose not to sign him to another contract after it expired. The longtime Celtics guard averaged 9.3 points, two rebounds and 1.5 assists in his four appearances for Los Angeles last season.

Over the last offseason, Thomas worked with LeBron James and Russell Westbrook to spark rumors of a potential Lakers return. Thomas played 17 games for Los Angeles in the 2017-18 season. The Lakers were close to signing Thomas before the start of the 2021-22 season before Rajon Rondo became available after a buyout.

“I was very close, and I truly believe that if the Rondo buyout hadn’t happened, and with all due respect to Rondo and respect to the Lakers organization, I would have become a Laker, I would have become a Laker, but I was a little bit with those guys together,” Thomas Shams told Charania of Stadium during an interview on Dec. 14, 2021. “You see, I got to train with Bron and Westbrook, so they saw me in my element and made me the person I am again.

“So things happen that I can’t control, but I was close to signing with the Lakers and that would probably be a really good opportunity to play with and be able to learn from such great players and get close to one again organization like the Lakers. That would have been super dope, but it didn’t happen and you have to move on.

Former Hawks keeper Sharife Cooper is another intriguing name the Lakers hosted for practice. Cooper was once a five-star high school contender before enjoying a stellar career at Auburn. The promising guard failed to gain game time behind a deep Hawks backcourt during his rookie season in Atlanta. During an exclusive pre-draft interview with Heavy in July 2021, Cooper reflected on what it would be like to play with LeBron James if he ever got the chance.

“This is someone I’ve looked up to my entire life,” Cooper said at the time. “He’s been in the league pretty much since I was born. So it would be great to play with him. It would also be great to lace up my shoes and compete against him. So I’m looking forward to both of them [either option].”



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