Mavs Work Out Isaiah Thomas, Lance Stephenson, Monta Ellis

A handful of veteran NBA guards worked out for the Mavericks on Thursday, according to Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link), who report that Isaiah Thomas, Lance Stephenson, and Monta Ellis all earned a look from the team.

Thomas, who previously worked out for the Lakers, is hoping to revive his career after dealing with hip problems for the last several seasons. He has appeared in 55 total games since the start of the 2018/19 season for the Nuggets, Wizards, and Pelicans, averaging 11.1 PPG and 3.2 APG on .393/.381/.771 shooting in 21.0 minutes per contest during that time. Those numbers aren’t bad, but they haven’t been enough to make up for his below-average defense and earn him a full-season rotation role.

Still, Thomas says he feels better now than he has in years, and Charania and Krawczynski confirm that sources say the 32-year-old guard appears to be in great shape. The Lakers are probably no longer an option for him after signing Rajon Rondo, but he could earn an opportunity with Dallas or another team.

While Thomas appeared in a handful of games for New Orleans in 2020/21, it has been quite some time since either Stephenson or Ellis suited up for an NBA team.

Stephenson, who has logged over 500 regular season NBA games and another 57 playoff contests across nine seasons, hasn’t played in the league since 2018/19, when he made 68 appearances for the Lakers. A report last month indicated he was holding a private workout in Las Vegas for NBA teams in the hopes of making a comeback. Stephenson will turn 31 this Sunday.

Ellis, meanwhile, has been out of the league even longer. His last NBA stint came in 2016/17, when he appeared in 74 games for the Pacers. Ellis was a talented scorer earlier in his NBA career, but was never a great three-point shooter (31.4% in his career) and will turn 36 years old this October.

The Mavs are currently carrying 14 players on guaranteed contracts, with Moses Brown on a partially guaranteed deal. While it doesn’t appear they have a ton of roster flexibility for now, that could change before the start of the season. For instance, if they were to trade two or three players to Toronto for Goran Dragic, they’d open up a roster spot or two.

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