To say the last twelve months have not gone the way Isaiah Thomas had planned would be a profound understatement.
In 2016-17 Thomas averaged a career-high 28.9 points per game and led the Boston Celtics to the best record in the East and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. Thomas would miss the last three games of that series, one the Celtics lost 4-0, with a hip injury; this is where things would start to go awry for Thomas. He was traded to Cleveland, which was the worst case scenario for him, as part of the Kyrie Irving deal. As he was not healthy when the deal was made, Thomas would miss the first 36 games of this season. When he returned, he looked nothing like the All-Star he had been, averaging just 14.7 points per game and shooting a frigid 36.1 percent from the floor. He also seemed to be a bad fit on the court and in the Cavaliers’ locker room, calling out both coaches and teammates publicly.
Thomas was then involved in The Great Cavaliers Purge of 2018, where Cleveland traded six players in a matter of hours shortly before the trade deadline. He was shipped to the Lakers and his production and play somewhat improved, averaging 15.6 points per outing and shooting, a better but still not good, 38.3 percent from the field.
Thomas ended up having surgery on the affected hip in March, ending his season; his goal was to be ready for the 2018-19 season.
The path to redemption will start in Denver.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com report that Thursday Thomas and the Denver Nuggets agreed to terms on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, a far cry from the max deal he was hoping to score just last season.
Free agent guard Isaiah Thomas has agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Nuggets, league sources tell ESPN. Thomas will reunite with Michael Malone, who coached him with the Kings.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 13, 2018
It will be interesting to see if reuniting with Mike Malone, who was his head coach with the Kings in 2013-14 can help him return to All-Star form.