Isaiah Thomas’s hip injury came up again and he is now out for the rest of the season. Had hip surgery which is a 4 month process but he should be ready for the 2018-2019 NBA season. His stint in Cleveland after being traded there was short lived, he had chemistry issues on the floor with Lebron James and could not play his style of play in a system which revolved around Lebron. He was traded
to the Los Angeles Lakers in a surprise move before the deadline and seemed to be fitting in good despite playing the same position as franchise guard Lonzo Ball who was drafted last June in the 2018 NBA Draft with the #2 overall pick. The Lakers are considering re-signing him to a 1 year deal possibly since he could play off the ball and alongside unselfish point guard Lonzo Ball or be utilized as a scorer off the bench but his best option would be the Orlando Magic.
Why the Orlando Magic? You might ask because the Orlando Magic were one of the worst teams as the end of the season approaches and looked primed to pick in the top 5 this coming NBA Draft but after trading Elfryd Payton the Orlando Magic sorely lack a floor general. The Orlando Magic decided re-signing Elfryd Payton probably would not be worth it, he is an all-around guard but has not lived up to his draft billing and although his jump-shot has not improved it has not improved enough to the point the Magic feel he can quarterback their offense and be a reliable scoring option and floor spacer for them. Aaron Gordon will be a free-agent this summer and questions arise as to if the Magic will consider re-signing him or not consider matching an offer-sheet an opposing team might offer. Rumored candidates in running for Gordon’s services are the Pacers,Suns,and Mavericks.
Back to Isaiah Thomas who most feel will not be worth the gamble due to his hip injury and add on the fact that his size only makes the injury that much worse and Isaiah Thomas’s contract situation severely changes for this coming summer. He will have more then enough time to go through surgery and get himself ready for next season and if you are the Orlando Magic you have to consider bringing him over because when he is healthy he is a difference maker on the offensive end, not to mention they can benefit from his veteran leadership being that the roster composes of young building blocks such as Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon. The jury is still out on whether they will bring back small forward Mario Hezonja who they drafted #5 overall, he has improved and been given more playing time but Frank Vogel for some reason does not feature him the way he probably should be so another team might snag him away from the Magic.
The Magic can go a number of directions this off-season, Jonathan Isaac projects to be a defensive dynamo and might be able to play the 3,4, and 5 depending on how much weight he gains. He has incredible length and athletic ability and can stretch the floor which is a very unique skill-set, pairing him with a guard like Isaiah Thomas who can get in the lane and get him easier shots would only benefit his game. Isaiah Thomas is a floor spacer who can put pressure on defenses and is incredible moving off the ball meaning anyone guarding him will have to work on the defensive end, if he can come back and ready to go for next season I don’t see why he can’t start at point guard and average 23-26 ppg on the Magic and take them to the playoffs. It is good to build with a young roster but it is good to have a balance and Isaiah Thomas would give them just that, he is a guard with playoff experience and knows what it takes to be a leader.
He did mention he wanted a team that would really want him there to sign him and if you are the Magic I do not see why you would not want him in Orlando. It has been years of losing in Orlando and it is time to take a step forward towards building a winning culture, they do not have to worry about offering him a max contract because no other NBA team in the NBA will be taking that huge of a risk on him because of that injury and also because he is approaching 30. Even if he is healthy you’d have to assume he’s got a good 3-4 years of All-Star level basketball, 5 at best so maybe a 3-4 year offer in the neighborhood of $60-100 million just might get him in an Orlando Magic uniform. The 2018 NBA Draft boast a good 5-6 potential franchise players, from the looks of it the Magic are locked in on Jonathan Isaac possibly being their power-forward going forward, if I had to make a guess I say they probably skip on re-signing Aaron Gordon. Yes I know the kid is 23 but he works best at the 4 and that is where Isaac will likely play for his career, Aaron Gordon does not have the game changing potential on the defensive end Jonathan possesses.
So maybe the Magic look to unload Evan Fournier’s contract and possibly go with Simmons at the 2 and draft a small-forward like Mikal Bridges who can play the 3 and serve as a 3 and D forward for them. This is assuming Hezonja,Fournier,and Gordon come off the books and find new homes leaving the Orlando Magic with a possibly starting lineup of:
PG-Isaiah Thomas SG-Jonathan Simmons SF-Mikal Bridges PF-Jonathan Isaac
C- Nikola Vucevic
The Magic would have three athletes on the floor who can shoot,pass, and defend in Simmons,Bridges, and Isaac to off-set for Isaiah’s defensive weaknesses but every player on the floor would be able to spread the floor even their center Vucevic.
To conclude I am just throwing out possibilities of what might happen, for all we know Aaron Gordon gets re-signed along with Mario Hezonja and the Magic go a different route in the NBA Draft and look to occupy the point guard position with a guard like Trae Young or Collin Sexton and skip on signing Isaiah Thomas but signing Isaiah Thomas would be a worthy gamble. The Magic have done enough losing over the past 5-6 years and it is time to right the ship, Isaiah Thomas is looking for a franchise which will make him feel appreciated and the Orlando Magic could use everything he brings to the table. It would be the perfect marriage, make it happen John Hammond.