Signed to a 10-day hardship contract by the Lakers after the team had four players out due to COVID-19 protocols (and a couple just returned), Thomas got a standing ovation from the Minnesota crowd when he first entered the game.
Thomas proceeded to score a team-high 19 points in 22 minutes off the bench, shooting 5-of-12 overall and getting to the line nine times.
First bucket back as a Laker. pic.twitter.com/auFlWJXpTo
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 18, 2021
It was a heartwarming moment for the Lakers — Thomas is loved by fans and other players around the league — on an otherwise difficult night.
Thomas will only be with the Lakers until the rest of the roster gets healthy; the Lakers already have 15 players signed (technically Austin Reaves‘ contract is not yet fully guaranteed for the season, but they are not about to cut the promising young rookie).
However, games like this will get him noticed by teams looking for guard depth off the bench.