Why Los Angeles Lakers Should Try to Lure Isaiah Thomas Away in Free Agency

The Steve Nash experiment didn't work out quite as planned. In two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, the iconic point guard has played in just 65 games because of injuries.

The organization's search for the point guard of the future is overdue at this point, but now it finally has the financial flexibility to earnestly engage in such a pursuit.

A pursuit that could nab someone like Sacramento Kings restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas.

Ordinarily, landing a restricted free agent isn't easy. The incumbent team has the right to match any offer received on the open market, so suitors often shy away from the process. But Thomas is a different story altogether, especially after the Kings agreed to terms with former Clippers point guard Darren Collison.

Collison's presence in Sacramento could be a harbinger of things to come for Thomas. USA Today's Sam Amick reports that, "A person with knowledge of Collison's situation not only confirmed the agreement but said the 26-year-old who was Chris Paul's backup with the Los Angeles Clippers last season is heading for Sacramento with the understanding that he will be the starter."

That likely means the Kings will balk at matching a large contract for Thomas. They wouldn't make that kind of investment in someone they view as a sixth man, not with other teams pursuing Thomas as a key long-term piece.

Should Sacramento hold on to its money and let Thomas walk, the Lakers could be the benefactors.

They're certainly high on Thomas' list.

And they have been for a long time. According to Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy:

It’s well-documented that Thomas grew up a diehard fan of the Lakers since his father is from Los Angeles, and he has idolized Bryant since he was a child. When asked what it would mean to sign an offer sheet with the Lakers, Thomas admits that it would be special.

"It ...

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