Former all-star point guard Isaiah Thomas will reportedly be coming off the bench during his Los Angeles Lakers debut against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night, according to ESPN‘s Chris Haynes.
Thomas had dinner with Lakers coach Luke Walton on Friday and discussed his role with the team, as well as the organization’s expectations after being acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday during the NBA trade deadline, according to the report.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols revealed that Thomas’ agent, Aaron Goodwin, texted her that his client was unwilling to “come off the bench” for the Lakers following news of the trade.
However, it seems that he’s changed his tone since Thomas’ initial meeting with the team.
“This is about Isaiah and what he can do to help this young team continue to grow and to win,” Goodwin told ESPN on Saturday morning. “He’s met with Luke and [assistant coach] Brian Shaw and he understands the direction of the team, and wants to come in and contribute the right way. Everything else will work itself out.”
Thomas began the 2017-18 season recovering from a hip injury before making his debut for the Cavaliers on Jan. 2. However, he has lacked the same explosiveness that made him an MVP candidate last season in Boston, averaging 14.7 points and 4.5 assists through 15 games.
Perhaps a new role and a change of scenery will help the former all-star guard return to form, or at least improve from what has been a disappointing season