It's been more than a year since Isaiah Thomas ordered the Brink's truck carrying loads of money. During those times, the 5-foot-9 point guard emerged as one of the top candidates to win the 2017 Most Valuable Player award after averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 rebounds on 46.3 percent shooting from the field, and 37.9 percent from beyond the arc. Thomas decided not to demand a massive contract extension from the Boston Celtics to give them salary cap flexibility to chase their target free agents, because he believed his max contract could wait until the following summer.
Everything fell into the wrong place when Isaiah Thomas suffered a hip injury. Last August, the Celtics traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving. After failing to make himself fit with LeBron James' squad, the 29-year-old point guard was sent to the Los Angeles Lakers before the February NBA trade deadline. The Brink's trucks never came in 2018 NBA free agency, and instead, Thomas got a one-year, $2 million contract from the Denver Nuggets.
Isaiah Thomas believes that too much loyalty and his decision to play through his hip injury cost him a huge amount of money. However, in an appearance on Good N' Plenty Podcast on CLNS Media, NBA Insider Jeff Goodman said that Thomas would never get a maximum contract even if he was healthy.
"I think like Demarcus Cousins it was a combination of the injury and how they were perceived around the league," said Goodman. "Listen there's a reason Cleveland shipped him off to L.A. right away. Isaiah Thomas is right for certain situations. He was perfect in Boston for a couple years because they didn't have another guy like him that could do some things off the bounce like he could. But I still say he was never going to get max money if he was healthy. Didn't matter. Nobody is going to pay him max money."Isaiah Thomas will use the 2018-19 NBA season as an opportunity to prove that he is 100 percent healthy and could return to All-Star form. If everything goes as Thomas plans, Goodman believes the veteran point guard will make more money, but he still doesn't see Thomas receiving a maximum contract. Thomas will be 30-years-old when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2019. Though several NBA teams are expected to have salary cap space next summer, it remains questionable if they are willing to invest on an aging and undersized point guard who has defensive issues.