Isaiah to come off bench in Lakers debut
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Isaiah Thomas will make his Los Angeles Lakers debut coming off the bench Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks, write ESPN's Chris Haynes and Ohm Youngmisuk.

The plan is for Thomas to eventually work himself into the starting five, according to Haynes and Youngmisuk's sources.

It's not uncommon for new acquisitions to start out in a reserve role with their new teams in the NBA. However, a narrative has been developing since Thursday, when Thomas' agent Aaron Goodwin told ESPN's Rachel Nichols his client would not come off the bench and could ask for a buyout if he was.

Goodwin seemed to moderate his tone in comments Saturday.

"This is about Isaiah and what he can do to help this young team continue to grow and to win," Goodwin told ESPN. "He's met with Luke (Walton) and (assistant coach) Brian Shaw and he understands the direction of the team, and wants to come in and contribute the right way. Everything else will work itself out."

Thomas came to the Lakers in the Cleveland Cavaliers' trade deadline roster purge, with L.A. sending point guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr. the other way.

The diminutive Thomas has clearly not fully recovered from his hip injury, struggling mightily with the Cavs. His explosiveness and lift remain limited, and he's shooting a career-low 36.1 percent this season.

Another dynamic in the Lakers' backcourt is rookie Lonzo Ball, who remains sidelined with a knee injury. Los Angeles has won four straight, starting two traditional off-guards together - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and rookie Josh Hart.

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Isaiah to come off bench in Lakers debut
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