If you didn’t pay close attention to the 2018 NBA offseason, the Denver Nuggets’ signing of guard Isaiah Thomas may have gone overlooked. The talented guard began the 2017-18 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers but was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the deadline. Unfortunately, a hip injury ended his year early and sidelined him through mid-February of the current year.
While Thomas signed a deal with the Nuggets this offseason, injury concerns and sporadic playing time with the Cavaliers and Lakers impacted his contract situation. As Spotrac shows, the 30-year-old signed a one-year deal worth just over $2.029 million, making him a free agent following the season.
Although it’s unfortunate that Thomas, who was expected to receive a huge contract during his superb 2016-17 season with the Boston Celtics, was only able to land a one-year deal, it may be better for him. The 2019 NBA free agency class features plenty of big names, and there are going to be a number of teams looking to spend on talent. If Thomas is able to finish this season strong, his chances of receiving a decent contract seem solid.
Isaiah Thomas’ Return to Nuggets, Early Stats
Although Thomas has played in just four games heading into Thursday night’s game against the Utah Jazz, he’s shown the flashes of the upside fans are used to seeing. The 5-foot-9 guard’s minutes are limited at this point, likely due to his return from injury, but over the four-game stretch, Thomas has averaged 11.3 points and 2.3 assists over 17.0 minutes.
In the first stretch of regular-season basketball that Thomas has played in nearly a year, he’s scored in double figures three times. He’s also managed to shoot 45.5 percent or better from the field in three of the four games. It’s likely the talent scorer will see more playing time as the season rolls on, and his outlook will continue to improve as the offseason approaches.
Isaiah Thomas Excelled With Celtics
After landing with the Celtics during the 2014-15 season, Thomas averaged 19.0 points and 5.4 assists over 21 games. But his breakout really began during the 2015-16 season, as he posted marks of 22.2 points, 6.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game. At that point, his scoring marked a career-high in a single season, but things went to another level the following year.
Thomas’ 2016-17 campaign was by far the most memorable, as he led the Celtics to a 53-29 record and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. But on a personal level, his 28.9 points per game on 46.3 percent shooting made him one of the best scorers in the NBA that year. If Thomas is able to put up some big scoring performances with his new team, it’ll benefit his immediate future and should draw a decent amount of attention from free agent suitors.