The Los Angeles Lakers passed up on Sacramento Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas not once, not twice, but three times in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. To make matters worse, they drafted two point guards ahead of him (Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock) and some guy named Ater Majok. Finally the Kings made the 5-foot-9 Thomas “Mr. Irrelevant,” drafting him 60th overall out of Washington.
Since then he has been one of the rising guards in the entire league, currently averaging 20.3 points and 6.3 assists on the season. He is headed for restricted free agency this offseason and it is unlikely Sacramento will be able to match a high offer for him. The Lakers have a fluid point guard situation; with Steve Nash’s career in doubt, Kendall Marshall‘s inconsistency, and Jordan Farmar being an unrestricted free agent. It leaves the door open for a new point guard of the future.
There have been rumors the Lakers have been trying to go another restricted free agent in Eric Bledsoe this summer. If they fail on that front, Thomas could be a cheaper backup plan. He plays a lot like former Laker Nick Van Exel, possessing excellent shooting ability as well as being able to penetrate and finish in the paint.
Thomas is one of the best fourth quarter scorers in the league this year. The only knock on him is the size issue, but that hasn’t stopped him from scoring at will when it matters most. It’s possible Los Angeles might throw their hat in the ring and go after the player they should have selected back in 2011.