Lakers interested in keeping Isaiah Thomas despite hip issues

Lakers interested in keeping Isaiah Thomas despite hip issues

Thomas, who has only played in 32 games this season, is seeing this year come to an end because of the same hip that ended his season last year.

Now this - Thomas is having surgery on the hip this Thursday, the Lakers announced.

In a statement received by ESPN, Dr. Bryan Kelly of the Hospital for Special Surgery in NY said the procedure will be "minimally invasive" and "clean up the joint of all inflammatory debris related to his injury from last season". The procedure is related to the hip injury that forced Thomas out of the playoffs previous year.

Thomas is in a contract year and the hip surgery doesn't help his cause as he potentially looks for a new home this summer.

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He opted for non-surgical rehab and was traded from the Celtics to the Cavaliers before making his return in January.

The Lakers and coach Luke Walton are said to be fans of Thomas and consider him a good fit with the young club, but are also expected to be chasing potential marquee free agents Paul George and LeBron James this summer. If they don't land one of their main targets they could be willing to bring Thomas back on a short-term deal.

Thomas averaged 22.9 FanDuel points per game this season, with 15.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.7 3-pointers per contest. Thomas is unlikely to get a significant long-term financial commitment on the free-agent market. If the team lands either superstar - or both - Thomas is all but gone, as the Lakers wouldn't have the cap room to pay him. The Lakers represent the possibility of a bridge season to show his ability to return to health and a high-level of performance.

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