From being the No. 60 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Isaiah Thomas has turned himself into an All-Star caliber talent in his three years of playing for the Boston Celtics. In his final season with the Celtics, Thomas became a frontrunner to win the Most Valuable Player award after averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists on 46.3 percent shooting from the field and 37.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc. However, Thomas’ dominance immediately came to an end when he suffered a hip injury during the Eastern Conference Playoffs 2017.
The “Brinks truck” Isaiah Thomas ordered never came as he only managed to secure a one-year, veteran minimum deal with the Denver Nuggets last summer. Despite the horrible things that happened to him in the past years, Thomas said in a recent interview with ESPN that he’s still hoping that a “legit opportunity” will come his way.
“Whatever the role may be, it’s going to be. But I know I can play at a high level again. And if given the opportunity, I can be an All-Star, I can be All-NBA, I can be all that, because I physically feel great. But it’s all about the opportunity. If I get an opportunity, I’m going to be ready for it. I’m going to take full advantage of it. And when this summer comes, I’m going to just figure out what’s the best opportunity, what’s the best situation for myself and my family, and then go from there.”
— ESPN (@espn) March 19, 2019
When he’s given enough playing time, Isaiah Thomas is very confident that he can return from becoming one of the best scorers in the league. Most NBA fans will definitely agree that Thomas deserves another chance. However, with his current situation in Denver, it remains a big question mark if there will be NBA teams who will be willing to give him a “legit opportunity” next summer.
Isaiah Thomas may have already returned from a hip injury but after nine games of playing with the Nuggets, Coach Mike Malone informed him that he would no longer be part of their rotation. Malone already made it clear that his decision to shorten their rotation isn’t about Thomas, but he said that he only did what he thinks is best for the team. However, the numbers proved that Thomas’ presence on the court has negatively affected the Nuggets’ performance on both ends of the floor.
As ESPN noted, the Nuggets has been outscored by 27 points in the 147 minutes Thomas has played this season. When Thomas is on the floor, the Nuggets are 12.3 points per 100 possessions worse and have a plus-5.3 when he’s on the bench. If Thomas won’t receive significant playing time in the Western Conference Playoffs, there is a strong chance that he will once again be forced to accept a one-year, veteran minimum deal in the 2019 NBA free agency.