All season, I’ve focused in this Lakers section on players who could potentially serve two purposes — as a role player next to stars that could potentially change the team’s fortunes this summer or as supplementary talent in the event Los Angeles is forced to trudge forward with its Process-like rebuild.
Thomas fits that mold.
The junior shot 41 percent from distance this season and used just 21 percent of his team’s possessions while also limiting turnovers. He became a more efficient player in three years under Greg McDermott, making him a high-floor option for a team looking to scoop up a role player. You could imagine him spotting up while Lonzo Ball runs the primary action across the floor, screening and moving as he did so well for the Blue Jays. You could imagine him doing that in many contexts, pulling a defender away from a LeBron James pick-and-roll or a Kawhi Leonard isolation.
The Lakers should take Landry Shamet if he falls to their slot at 25, but if not, Thomas is a similar prospect in terms of defensive impact despite a more physical style.