1. Los Angeles Lakers
If the Lakers don’t get LeBron James and Paul George, they’ll circle back to Thomas. The cap space will be there for them to offer him a gigantic one-year deal. You know what’s great about those one-year deals? They become expiring. And you know what’s good about expiring deals? They open up cap space for the 2019 offseason. And if any team loves delicious cap space that they can use to not acquire superstars, it’s the Lakers.
At least when the Mavericks miss out on top free agents, they still manage to end up with Harrison Barnes or Wesley Matthews. The Lakers best signing in the last decade is….Luol Deng?
Thomas took a positive step last season when he agreed to come off the bench for the Lakers. Is he willing to do that for an entire year on a non-playoff team? That remains to be seen. If he accepts a mid-level deal and plays well, he could become the 2016-17 version of Lou Williams. That’s not a bad position to be in if it means getting moved to a potential title contender at the 2019 trade deadline. However, if he takes a big money deal, he’ll be tougher to move come deadline day.
He won’t be the first choice for the Lakers. He won’t even be the second choice. But he’d get to live in Los Angeles, be on national television every week, and could get that Brinks truck.
Brinks Truck Update: On standby.