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Thomas to come off the bench in Lakers’ debut

The Sports Post logo The Sports Post 2/10/2018 Shaun Ranft

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Video by Sports Illustrated

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but Isaiah isn’t going to start in his Lakers’ debut. Obviously, that means he’s coming off the bench.

Isaiah Thomas will come off the bench when he makes his Los Angeles Lakers debut ‪Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks, league sources told ESPN.

Again, this isn’t a surprise. But if all goes according to plan, his stint on the bench won’t last long.

The plan is for Thomas to eventually work himself into position to join the starting five, according to sources.

It’s been a tumultuous season for IT. After setting the league ablaze last season, averaging 28.9 points per game, he would only suit up for the Cavaliers 15 times. And it’s clear that right now, he’s not nearly the same player he was in Boston. IT needs to get healthy. Normally there would be no rush, but Thomas is a free agent at the end of the season. In other words, he’s playing for a contract.

All the moving around probably doesn’t help either, but that’s business. IT’s agent Aaron Goodwin is all-in:

This is about Isaiah and what he can do to help this young team continue to grow and to win.

He knows it’s time to get to work.

He’s met with Luke and [assistant coach] Brian Shaw and he understands the direction of the team, and wants to come in and contribute the right way. Everything else will work itself out.

And Magic Johnson knows that with Lonzo Ball out, the Lakers need a point guard. Thomas is ideally that guy.

We need a point guard. So especially with that type of experience and the fact that he can score the basketball and pass it, we want to get [Thomas] in here fast. We told him that.”

But that’s not all. Much of this stems because Ball’s status remains up in the air.

He’s day to day, [Ball] is. We don’t know when he’s coming back. We need somebody to come in there and lead our troops. [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. And also, a veteran that can also help Lonzo. ‘This is what you need to look for in when you’re playing against this guy. This is what I’ve been doing in terms of my regiment of when I work out.’ All those things — we didn’t have anybody to teach Lonzo anything. Hopefully IT can come in and do that.

The Lakers take on the Dallas Mavericks tonight. Los Angeles has won four in a row and are 8-2 over their last 10.

Related slideshow: 2017-18 NBA season (Provided by photo services)

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