Isaiah Thomas is moving to the Mile High City. The 29-year-old point guard will sign a one-year, $2 million deal with the Denver Nuggets, according to multiple media reports.
Thomas averaged 28.9 points per game for Boston in 2016-17, and was a second-team All-NBA selection, but a right hip injury during the 2017 playoffs sent him off track. He spent the next eight months rehabbing, was traded to Cleveland during that time, and only appeared in 15 games for the Cavaliers last season before being traded to the Lakers, for whom he appeared in just 17 games. He then became a free agent.
Selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 60th and final pick of the 2011 NBA Draft out of the University of Washington, Thomas spent three years in Sacramento and half a season with Phoenix before joining Boston for 21 games in 2014-15. He became an All-Star the next two seasons, before the hip injuries.
He underwent an early-April arthroscopic cleanup procedure on the hip, so he’s been rehabbing in Seattle and Los Angeles this summer. But ESPN calls this a “high-reward, low-risk gamble for the Nuggets.” Denver has missed the playoffs by one game each of the past two season, but have a young, solid core. This move gives Thomas a chance to “re-establish himself on a winning team, stay healthy and re-enter free agency next summer,” according to ESPN.
Nuggets coach Mike Malone plans for Thomas to play a big role off the bench. Although he’ll aim to regain starter’s minutes at some point, Thomas is grateful to reunite with Malone, who previously coached Thomas with the Kings.
Thomas took to Twitter on Friday morning to praise God:
God is so good #Blessed #ThatSLOWgrind
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) July 13, 2018
Thomas’ new teammate, Michael Porter Jr., whom the Nuggets selected with the 14th pick of last month’s draft, also expressed his excitement:
Let’s gooooo brodie! Time to get to it 🙏🏼 @isaiahthomas
— Michael Porter Jr (@MPJr) July 13, 2018
As did others around the NBA:
I. Can’t. Wait. @isaiahthomas go do what you’ve done your whole life and that’s make everyone swallow their words. They can’t measure your heart cuz!
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) July 13, 2018
I.T. About to be the man again. He’s going to get the nuggets to the playoffs, for sure!
— Evan Turner (@thekidet) July 13, 2018
Appreciate my bro @isaiahthomas learned a lot in a short period of time. Can’t wait till u switch on me in the post this year
— kuz (@kylekuzma) July 13, 2018
Thomas was named after Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas when his dad, James, lost a bet on the 1989 NBA Finals between the Detroit Pistons and L.A. Lakers. Detroit won in four games, and thus, James lost the bet, so he had to name his child after the Pistons’ point guard.
However, the spelling of their first names is slightly different. Isaiah’s mother wanted her son to have a biblical name, so the spelling matches that of the prophet in the Bible.
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