It’s safe to say that Isaiah Thomas didn’t exactly have a dream 2018 season. He missed a few months to start the year with a hip injury that occurred in the 2016-17 campaign. Then, when he suited up for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he shot 36.1% in 15 games.
Thomas played a little better after being traded to the LA Lakers before the 2018 deadline. But the 5’9″ point guard didn’t fit into their future plans.
Thomas has found a new team, though, after signing a one-year deal with the Denver Nuggets. Let’s discuss the details of this contract along with how he fits into Denver’s scheme.
Thomas Signs for the Veteran’s Minimum
Just last year, Thomas was expecting to get a max deal in free agency. He famously said that the Boston Celtics had better “bring the Brinks truck,” because they weren’t going to re-sign him for cheap.
Unfortunately, he ran into all of the aforementioned problems discussed in the introduction. This has diminished his value to the point where he was forced to accept a $2 million deal from the Nuggets in lieu of more substantial offers.
Michael Malone and Thomas Have a Connection
Playing for Denver will feel somewhat familiar to Thomas. That’s because he already played for Nuggets head Coach Michael Malone in Sacramento (2013). Isaiah was the leading scorer for the team at 20.3 PPG.
Thomas reunited with his former coach in Las Vegas and also met Denver President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly. He’s continued texting both Malone and Connelly in an effort to discuss his role with the team.
Thomas tore the labrum in his hip in April 2017. He was still rehabilitating when he pushed himself to return to the Cavaliers last season. The Cavs stint only lasted 15 games before he was shipped off to the Lakers.
Now, Thomas gets a fresh start and can begin the season healthy. He should also have an important role on the Nuggets, one that includes carrying some of the offensive load.
Not Much Risk for Denver in Signing Thomas
Signing Isaiah Thomas appears to mostly be an upside move for the Nuggets. They were hoping to have a realistic shot at landing LeBron in the offseason. But he appeared to only have eyes for the Lakers.
Thomas may not be the do-everything player that James is, but he can definitely score the ball. The 2017 NBA First-Teamer averaged 28.9 points two years ago for the Celtics, and he boasts a career average of 18.9 PPG.
Assuming he’s healthy, then Thomas should definitely help Denver win some games. And even if things don’t work out, they can quickly cut ties with him after just one season.