Luke Walton has stated his plans to start Isaiah Thomas alongside Lonzo Ball
When the news broke out that the Los Angeles Lakers have pulled the trigger to send Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye plus a draft pick, many weren't thrilled as Isaiah Thomas wasn't playing like his old 4th quarter monster-self when he was still leading the Boston Celtics. Channing Frye is a reliable shooter from deep with an ability to play both forward positions but can he actually crack into Luke Walton's rotation?
Now that the trade has transpired, many people might need to change their mindsets towards having Isaiah Thomas in the Lakers.
In his first game for the Purple and Gold, Isaiah Thomas scored 22 points on 7 for 12 field goal shooting including 4 for 8 from the three-point line. He also had 6 assists in what appeared to be his best game this season and it happened right after he was traded by the Cavs- a team where Isaiah Thomas struggled to find his rhythm. In fact, many people were saying one of the major factors why IT struggled in Cleveland was the fact that he was playing with LeBron James.
Despite losing to the Dallas Mavericks on IT's debut game, there are a lot of positive things that we should take note. One of those things was the fact that Isaiah Thomas played well against Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks despite coming off the bench. Why? Right after the trade, Isaiah Thomas did indicate that he wanted to start for the Lakers.
And he will.
Luke Walton has already said that he intends to have Isaiah Thomas and Lonzo Ball as his starting backcourt once the latter is healthy enough to play.
Question: How will the Lakers benefit from having a backcourt duo like Lonzo Ball and Isaiah Thomas?
In many ways, the Lakers will benefit from having a starting backcourt of IT and Lonzo. It will give the starting unit more speed and scoring plus the athleticism of both guards. And like it or not, Isaiah Thomas, at the age of 29, is still one of the talented guards of this era so frankly speaking, this trade is definitely a win-win deal for the Lakers. Who knows? The Lakers might be able to make a late run for a playoff spot as they are just 7 games behind the 8th spot.
While Lonzo Ball is still out at the moment, the Lakers don't have the shortage of point guards. Isaiah Thomas has said that he felt that he regained his powers with the Lakers. He has a stellar debut. Wait until Lonzo Ball joins him in the backcourt and the Lakers might just start running AND winning again.