- Isaiah Thomas is reportedly signing a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Denver Nuggets.
- Just one year ago, Thomas said he expected the Boston Celtics to bring out the “Brinks truck” for him following an All-Star season that saw him finish third in the NBA in points per game.
- A hip injury and inability to produce on the court last year seemed to erode Thomas’ market, and now he may be playing for his future.
Free-agent guard Isaiah Thomas agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Denver Nuggets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, citing league sources.
Thomas met with Tim Connelly, Denver’s head of basketball operations, and coach Michael Malone in Las Vegas in new days, abiding by conversation and content with them about a position and state of affairs surrounding him combination the Nuggets, league sources said.
This is a high-reward, low-risk hazard for the Nuggets, who desire to make contact with the Western summit competition this season. For Thomas, it is a hazard to re-establish himself on a charming team, halt fit and re-enter free society after that summer.
Thomas, 29, has been steadily progressing in rehabilitation since an early-April arthroscopic clean-up procedure on the right hip. Thomas averaged 29 points for the Boston Celtics in 2016-17, a second-team All-NBA time that appeared to be rewarded the lane for a long-term, $100 million approved to. But an injury on the same right hip that cut short his playoffs in 2017 and cost him eight months of rehab, and a trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers keep going summer, upended his hopes for that caring of a long-term deal.
Thomas together with the Los Angeles Lakers as divide of a trade-deadline compact with Cleveland, everywhere he had played merely 15 sports competition in the 2017-18 season. Thomas has tired time rehabbing between Seattle and Los Angeles this summer.
But if Thomas shoots sub-40% from the field again and struggles to stay healthy, it may put his future up in the air. At 5-foot-9, odds are already stacked against Thomas on both sides of the court. If Thomas can’t prove healthy enough to be the whirling offensive force he was in Boston, how many teams would be willing to gamble on him again?
For the Nuggets, it’s a low-risk, high-reward signing. It’s not unlike the Warriors signing DeMarcus Cousins. If Thomas is healthy and can contribute, it’ll be a one-year rental for the Nuggets that could help propel them to the playoffs. Thomas would almost surely leave next summer for a bigger, longer offer.
Thomas’ future may be riding on his ability to be super-sub for the Nuggets. One year ago, it seemed Thomas might be in line for a nine-digit contract. Now he’s playing on the minimum, likely coming off the bench in a sign of how quickly things can change in the NBA.