Lakers planning to sign Isaiah Thomas if granted a hardship exception

Isaiah Thomas is shown playing for the New Orleans Pelicans on April 7, 2021.
Isaiah Thomas, shown playing for the New Orleans Pelicans last season, played in 17 games for the Lakers in 2018.
(Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

The Lakers are planning to sign veteran guard Isaiah Thomas, provided they’re granted a hardship exception.

Thomas returned to competitive basketball Wednesday night and scored 42 points for the Grand Rapids Gold of the NBA’s G League in his first game back.

The 5-foot-9 guard played 17 games for the Lakers in 2018, averaging 15.6 points. He played three games last season for the New Orleans Pelicans. Thomas will turn 33 in February.


Injuries have slowed Thomas, once one of the NBA’s most prolific scorers.

In 528 games, he averaged 18.1 points.

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Teams can apply for hardship waivers when they have four or more injured or sick players who will miss extended time.

The Lakers currently have two players injured, Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn, and three in the health and safety protocols — Talen Horton-Tucker, Malik Monk and Dwight Howard.