There are no surprises here. When it was reported Isaiah Thomas would get the surgery to repair the torn labrum in his hip that he put off last summer, there was no way he was coming back this season.
Thursday, the Lakers made it official.
That timeframe has him back and fully ready for training camp next season.
The question is where that will be. Coming off hip surgery and a down season — one where he was traded and his reputation as a team player took a hit — and with a player known to be a defensive liability, teams will be cautious. Combine that with a very tight free agent market and the Brinks truck Thomas thought would be backing up to his door will instead be parked somewhere else. Thomas could find himself taking a shorter one or one+one contract to re-establish his ability to play and his reputation.
Thomas rehabbed his image somewhat with the Lakers, where coach Luke Walton sang his praises to NBC Sports.
“He’s kind of like having an extra coach on the floor.”
“What he has brought to our group from a leadership standpoint has been awesome.”
All of that is great, but Thomas is in a familiar position for him — he has to prove his worth and prove he belongs with a significant role on an NBA team. Once again.
If we learned anything watching Thomas’ career, do not bet against him.