Isaiah Thomas to come off bench vs. Mavericks in Lakers debut

Thomas will use the remaining games of the 2017-18 season to prove to team he isn't damaged goods, that he's still the player who averaged 29 points per game for a No. 1 seed Boston Celtics team last season.

That had to be Lakers coach Luke Walton's thought when he heard Isaiah Thomas' agent tell an ESPN reporter his client wouldn't come off the bench after being traded to Los Angeles along with veteran Channing Frye and the Cavs' protected 2018 first-round draft choice in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. on Friday (AEDT). We don't know when he's coming back.

When asked about mentoring rookie Lonzo Ball, Thomas said that he's fine with doing that too, but added that he's still in his prime and isn't "taking a backseat to anybody".

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As for the Lakers, Thomas is an unrestricted free agent after this season, so they don't have to worry about a significant contract on the books if they choose not to re-sign him. The 5-foot-9 guard shot 7-for-12 from the field and 4-for-8 from three-point range. Both those shooting figures even bested the Mavs' unusually high shooting stats. Yet, in his debut for the Lakers on Saturday, he performed well. Turnovers, ultimately, doomed the Lakers and a homecoming for Julius Randle.

From a Dallas native to Dallas' adopted son, Dirk Nowitzki displayed his famous shooting touch all night long. Ingram started his fifth straight game at the position and scored 22 points while knocking down four of five 3-pointers. He also had six assists. He also effectively lost the game for the Los Angeles down the stretch, turning the ball over with under a minute to go with one of his dreaded jump passes.

Thomas said that he's there to help the Lakers however he can, even if that means not starting like he wants to. The Lakers like to switch defensively quite often, and that left Thomas in some really bad situations defensively. Although he does bring star power to the Lakers and very well could carry them to the postseason this year, there are three reasons why Thomas ultimately is still just a rental.

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