Isaiah Thomas’s nightmare season is officially and mercifully over, brought to a premature close by the hip surgery he had long hoped to avoid.
The Lakers announced Wednesday that the two-time All-Star point guard will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the bothersome right hip that kept him from recapturing the often-magical form he showed last season with the Celtics. After becoming one of the league’s most underpaid stars in Boston, the 29-year-old Thomas spent his long-awaited contract year sidelined for months, traded from Cleveland to LA, and then dumped to a sixth man role with the Lakers as he struggled badly on both ends.
Even under hindsight’s harsh glare, Thomas had good reason to attempt to rehabilitate his hip and play through the pain. The Cavaliers offered three things any upcoming free agent would want: the chance to compete for a title, a complementary role alongside LeBron James, and a deep-pocketed owner in Dan Gilbert willing to pay big to keep a winner together.