If there is a guy in the NBA who wasn’t a favorite of good fortune, it definitely goes by the name of Isaiah Thomas.
The 30-year old guard, who has been one of the best players in the league back in 2017, and earned the spot in the All-NBA second team, went through all kinds of adversities during the last two seasons.
After scoring 28.9 points per game in that campaign, along with 5.9 assists, the Celtics were planning to offer this guy a long-term deal, which would make him one of the highest paid point guards in the league back then.
He already fit in the team very well, becoming the leader who pulled the franchise towards the top, and it seemed that they finally got the ultimate piece in their championship puzzle. But suddenly, he picked up a hip injury which separated him from the court for the next eight months. In the meantime, a lot has changed, and the Celts decided to trade him to Cleveland as a part of a big deal which landed Kyrie Irving in Massachusets.
After that, he was sent to Los Angeles Lakers, where he had to undergo surgery and was completely lost. The Denver Nuggets believed in him, and despite his injury, the franchise from Colorado offered him a modest $2 million contract for one season, which he accepted.
Although he didn’t make it to the rotation, Thomas has only kind words for Mike Malone and the crew from Mile High.
“Denver allowed me to take really as much time as I needed, to get back to 100 percent health,” Isaiah stated.
The player explained in the latest interview that he understood the position he founded himself at the time. Denver was on the rise, there was already great chemistry among the boys in the team, and coach Malone didn’t want to disrupt that.
“When I look at it from the outside, I understood it,” Thomas added. “I missed 50 games, the team was having a hell of a season, and it wasn’t easy to just squeeze me in there when so many guys were playing so well.”
Still, according to the voices from the Nuggets’ franchise, Thomas did have a huge influence on the youngsters in the team. His previous experience helped them a lot during the playoffs, and they received an enormous amount of information and advice from the guy who was in their position several years before.
About his future, Thomas has a strict plan – work, work, work. After two preseason periods during which he had to recover from injuries, IT can finally prepare for the season in the best possible way and focus on getting back to the All-NBA level.
Free agent Isaiah Thomas is hoping a full summer of being a "gym rat" will allow him to return to the form he displayed before hip surgery sidetracked his career. (via @wojespn) https://t.co/aselTY346r
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 26, 2019
His goal is to reach the physical shape from 2017, and he is aware that a lot of practice is ahead of him.
“Now I can go back to being a gym rat this summer, work on my game again and build my body back up — my muscle mass, my leg strength — all like I had going into the 2017 season.”
Even though he isn’t in the middle of attention before the start of the free agency, Thomas is convinced that there is a franchise which will allow him to showcase his full potential.
While the majority of the media talks about Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie or Kawhi, almost nobody mentions Thomas. Because of that, we are 100% positive that 5’9” could be the steal of the free agency. After all, he knows how it is to be on top and then to fall.
And getting back on top is the best motivation there is.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.