Isaiah Thomas has done a lot of moving over the last several months. First, the Boston Celtics dealt him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Kyrie Irving. It took him a few months before he was able to play due to injury, and then almost immediately after the comeback, the Cavs hit the panic button.
“I didn’t think they would pull the trigger that fast, 15 games,” said Thomas in an interview with ESPN’s E:60. “But again, it’s a business. And the Cavs were, I mean, they were in panic mode. We were losing—a lot. And I think they felt like they needed to make a move, and they, they basically cleared house.”
The team was losing what seemed like every game to teams that they shouldn’t have even been playing close. With the free agency of LeBron James coming up this offseason, the Cavs needed to act quickly, and they did.
The Cavs traded away what felt like half of their team, including IT, sending him to the west coast with the Los Angeles Lakers. And while the Cavs have a lot of new players to manage, the Lakers made a number of trades too, landing Thomas on a team in a very similar situation.
“It was a tough situation I was being put in,” said Thomas. “It was—it was different…It’s hard to get acclaimed to a team halfway through the season. People don’t put in there that we had eight or nine new players. So it was basically a brand new team…I’m in a new system. New team, new coach, new players. And then I’ve been off for seven months. So I got to get—individually, I got to for the most part get my rhythm back, get my timing back.”
And while Thomas certainly wanted to stay with Cleveland (as he said in a tweet while rumors were flying around, he’s tired of being traded), he doesn’t have any hard feelings towards the Cavs. IT understands the business of sports, and he wasn’t in Cleveland long enough to have any real emotional tie to the franchise.
“It just didn’t work out. And that just happens.”
That being said, with free agency coming up for Isaiah, he’s tired of moving around. He’s in Los Angeles now, and that’s where he would like to stay for a while. He’s already had to deal with moving from Boston (where he was well established) to Cleveland and now to Los Angeles all within less than one year. Imagine trying to handle that in the middle of the season too.
“I’ve been in this situation before when I got traded to Boston,” said Thomas. “A team right outside the playoffs, a team that was young, really didn’t know how to win. And I just brought a different swagger to that organization. And we took it and ran with it. I’m coming to an L.A. team that’s young, that already has a system. And I just want to help. Hopefully, I’m here long-term, you know, with me being a free agent this summer. But if I’m not, these last 25 games I’m going to play my heart out and show the Lakers why I should be here long term.”
So, Thomas has just over 20 games to prove his worth to the Lakers who still have No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball on the team at point guard. But, hey, he has been the undog before, and he certainly knows how to perform well under the pressure.