A mutual-excitement party for Thomas and the Lakers

Tania Ganguli, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

"Right now Zo's hurt," Johnson said of Lonzo Ball. "We need a point guard. So especially with that type of experience and the fact that he can score the basketball and pass it, we want to get him in here fast. We told him that. He's day-to-day, Zo is. We don't know when he's coming back. We need somebody to come in there and lead our troops."

Johnson also stressed the importance of having a veteran player who could mentor Ball. Thomas is 29 years old and in his seventh NBA season.

But he also said that Ball is the Lakers' starting point guard. As the Lakers put it, though, that might not preclude Thomas from being in the starting lineup.

"They can play together," Pelinka said. "Lonzo's 6-7, long arms. One of the elite point guard defenders in the league. He can guard 1s, 2s, 3s. I think there's gonna be points in the game where they have heavy minutes together. ...

"Isaiah's probably more of a natural scorer. What, he was second in the league in scoring last year? That's his bread and butter to score.

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"Those guys can play together. Anyone that's painting it as an either-or doesn't really understand the game."

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