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The move was made after Los Angeles acquired him as part of a three-team deal with the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards that brought Marcus Morris to Los Angeles. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported at the time of the trade that waiving Thomas was a likely outcome.
Thomas is averaging 12.2 points and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 41.3 percent from three this season.
That doesn’t mean the Clippers are done looking to add to their roster.
Along with the Lakers, the team has been trying to lure Darren Collison out of retirement, but it appears their roommates at Staples Center have the lead in that race. Should that plan fail, there has also been talks of Reggie Jackson working toward a buyout with the Detroit Pistons. Jackson would be considered a top priority of the Clippers should he hit the open market.
In any case, waiving Thomas was more of a means to opening up more roster spots than anything.
The Clippers would prefer to add another shooting threat or a lockdown defender to fill out their rotation. Thomas didn’t quite fit those needs, though Los Angeles will need to act fast with the free agents who do become available.
As buyout season gets underway, contenders are pouncing on athletes who have gotten out of their contracts. Before the ink was even dry on his buyout, Charlotte‘s Marvin Williams was planning to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks, giving them the type of veteran presence the Clippers could have used.
Where that leaves Thomas at the moment is unknown.
It’s been a tough stretch for the 31-year-old since his magical run in Boston during the 2016-17 season. After a hip injury cost him nearly half the season with the Cleveland Cavaliers the following year, he’s struggled to maintain a role in the NBA, landing on five different rosters since leaving the Celtics.
Now he’ll wait to see which team will give him a shot next.