After a successful stint with the United States Men’s National Basketball Team (USMNBT) during a continuation of the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers, two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas continues to his NBA comeback after a string of injuries led to Thomas playing just 84 games since the 2017-18 season.
However, feeling physically healthy and getting a confidence boost from his performance in San Juan, IT appears to have his most legitimate shot in months. In addition, the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks are among the teams interested in signing Thomas should he return to the NBA (per The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski).
During the week-long continuation of the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers, Thomas led the team in scoring over two games while averaging 14.0 points and 2.5 assists per game and shooting .435 percent from the field (.500 percent from 3-point range).
As he averaged 12.2 points and 3.7 assists in 23.1 minutes per game for the Washington Wizards in 2019-20 (40 games) while shooting .408 percent from the field and .413 percent from 3-point range, his numbers from the AmeriCup Qualifiers do seem translatable.
Thomas may find a strong fit with the Bucks, who are currently 26-14 and third in the Eastern Conference standings. After trading away backup point guard D.J. Augustin this week in their deal for veteran forward P.J. Tucker, could use an additional ball-handler and a savvy veteran like IT could be right up their alley.
Meanwhile, although LeBron James and Dennis Schroder operate much like a dual-guard offense, the Lakers point guard options off the bench are dwindling. In addition, fan favorite Alex Caruso continues to exceed expectations as the backup point guard.
However, prior the playoffs, teams will often try to top off the talent on their roster with fringe rotation players that have had productive career. That’s what allows the Lakers, the reigning champions, to remain a viable option for Thomas.