Pacific Notes: Thomas, Booker, Morris, Thompson

Isaiah Thomas‘ 19-point debut Friday night in Minnesota was one of the bright spots of the Lakers‘ season, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Thomas signed a 10-day contract under the hardship provision because L.A. is shorthanded due to a mix of injuries and players in health and safety protocols. Thomas understands that he may not be with the Lakers very long, but he’s enjoying the opportunity to play without the pain in his hip that bothered him for so long.

“That was very frustrating, when your mind is telling you to do something but your body won’t allow you to do it,” said Thomas, whose career was derailed by a hip injury in the 2017 playoffs. “And that was my first major injury so that was like, ‘Basketball is everything to me.’ so it really stopped me from being who I am. It really stopped me from being happy.”

The Lakers brought in Thomas for a workout during the summer, but decided against giving him one of the open roster spots that eventually went to Austin Reaves and Avery Bradley. LeBron James said he’s happy to have Thomas as a teammate again, even though their previous partnership with the Cavaliers didn’t work out.

“He wasn’t healthy in Cleveland and he was playing out of just pure grit and his hip was just not allowing him to be who he was before the injury,” James said. “Obviously he has his pop back, has his shot back, and it’s good to have him.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Devin Booker was a full participant in today’s practice and is optimistic about returning Sunday after missing the Suns‘ last seven games with a strained left hamstring, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic“We’ve still got to be careful and see how he responds to the day before and the next day, how do you feel,” coach Monty Williams said. “When you’re dealing with a hamstring, it’s a weird deal because some people have the low, some people have the mid, some people have the high. I’ve only done like the high one so I only know how that felt like. It’s just a tricky, tricky injury.”
  • Marcus Morris entered health and safety protocols this morning, but none of his Clippers teammates have been affected by the virus, per Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. Morris, who was with the team in Oklahoma City, returned to Los Angeles on a private flight and wasn’t experiencing any symptoms, coach Tyronn Lue said.
  • The Warriors issued a statement Friday that Klay Thompson completed his latest G League assignment and his recovery timeline is still on schedule. Thompson is expected to debut at a home game some time in January.
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