That had to be Lakers coach Luke Walton's thought when he heard Isaiah Thomas' agent tell an ESPN reporter his client wouldn't come off the bench after being traded to Los Angeles along with veteran Channing Frye and the Cavs' protected 2018 first-round draft choice in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. on Thursday. The plan is for Thomas to eventually work himself into position to join the starting lineup. The star point guard, who made his Lakers debut on Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center, looked like the dominant player he was last season with the Boston Celtics during the first half versus the Mavs.
In just 14 minutes of action off the bench, Thomas led all scorers with 16 points on 4-of-7 shots from behind the arc and four assists. "I am happy to be here with the Lakers, happy to be with a young team that is exciting, that likes to get up and down - that's my style of play". The Lakers have been hot as of late even without Lonzo Ball and they don't want to mess around with their chemistry yet as they ride his streak of success.
Walton's intention is to integrate Thomas slowly into the offense and the point guard agrees with the strategy, sources told ESPN. Thomas is 29 years old and in his seventh National Basketball Association season. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka also added that he thinks Thomas and Ball can play together.
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Jack Nicklaus once said if he only had one more round to play, he would pick Pebble Beach. "So it was definitely a good day". Now more young studs are coming through, with Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm both asserting their dominance over the past year .
"He's day-to-day, (Ball) is".
Coming off the surgery, Thomas is clearly not all the way back to where he was. (Brandon Ingram has) been doing a fabulous job but we've gotta get another guy in here. That's why IT was important for us to make this move. Although, he also said he wants to help L.A. any way he can.
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