Isaiah Thomas got a standing ovation for his season debut as a visiting player in Minnesota.
And that was before he scored 19 points in 22 minutes off the Lakers bench.
A sympathetic figure – a 5-foot-9 guard who went from last pick in the draft to star by playing with tremendous heart then got derailed by injuries just before a big payday – Thomas is getting his latest chance with the Hornets.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Isaiah Thomas is signing a 10-day deal with Charlotte, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 1, 2022
If he plays for Charlotte, this will be Thomas’ ninth team in the last six years (Celtics, Cavaliers, Lakers, Nuggets, Wizards, Pelicans, Lakers, Mavericks, Hornets) and third this season (Lakers, Mavericks, Hornets).
He’s still capable of scoring in bunches on some nights. He dropped 45, 33 and 46 points for Denver’s minor-league affiliate in the last week.
But his efficiency, passing and defense have dropped considerably at age 33 (and it’s not as if his defense started at a high level). Since claiming to be much healthier entering last season, even including his big season debut with the Lakers, Thomas is shooting 43% on 2-pointers and 22% on 3-pointers.
The Hornets (30-33, 10th in the Eastern Conference) are jockeying for play-in position despite having lost 11 of 13. They could use extra point guard depth after trading Ish Smith. But with LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier at the position, there isn’t a clear path for Thomas into the rotation.