Ex-Celtics Star Makes Emphatic Statement in G-League Debut

Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics

Getty Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics

Former Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, who is now fighting for an NBA roster spot in the G-League, had a phenomenal debut for the Grand Rapids Gold.

Thomas recently signed for the Denver Nuggets G-League affiliate so that he could take part in the G-League showcase, as he bids to make a return to the NBA in the near future.

Well, Thomas did himself no harm with his debut performance, as he dropped 42 points, along with eight assists and six rebounds. Thomas also shot 16-for-30 from the field, and 5-for-14 from deep, and took care of the ball throughout, only registering one turnover in the contest.

Thomas had some other former NBA talent on his roster for this game, with Lance Stephenson, Tarik Black, and Nik Stauskas also participating in the game. Unfortunately, despite Thomas’ scoring heroics, the Gold lost the contest against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants 127-131.


Thomas Has Struggled in Recent Years

After being traded away from Boston as part of the deal which saw the Celtics acquire Kyrie Irving, Thomas has struggled for relevancy within the NBA. Following two All-Star seasons with the Celtics, which saw the diminutive guard labeled as an outside MVP candidate, a hip injury derailed his career, and Thomas has been fighting to get back on track ever since.

Things didn’t work out for Thomas with the Cavaliers, which saw him join the Los Angeles Lakers later that season. However, after starting just one game for the purple and gold, Thomas found himself looking for a new team again the following season. Short stints with the Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards, and New Orleans Pelicans followed but nothing managed to stick.

The closes Thomas got to a consistent role, was in the 2019-20 season, when he played in 40 games for the Wizards, starting 37 of them and averaging 12.2 points per game on 41.3% shooting from deep and 40.8% shooting from the field, per Basketball-Reference.

However, despite his scoring ability, the Wizards decided to go down a different route in the following season.


Thomas Recently Played for Team USA

Thomas played in two games for Team USA in their World Cup qualifiers, in what was his second time representing his country this year.

His first qualifying game came against Cuba on November 28, where Thomas scored 21 points, with 12 of them coming from beyond the three-point line. Alas, despite his scoring outburst, Thomas shot an inefficient 35% from the field, but luckily it didn’t hurt his team, as they came out of the game victorious.

In the second game Thomas again produced 21 points, but this time, on a much more efficient clip. Against Mexico, the former All-Star shot 63.6% from the field along with dishing out 10 assists to his teammates, unfortunately, his high-level play wasn’t rewarded as Team USA fell to defeat, per FlashScore.

It’s been a whirlwind two months for Thomas, who came back from his time with Team USA and dove straight into his opportunity in the G-League. The hope is that by showing he’s still a valuable contributor on multiple different teams, and NBA team in need of some scoring off the bench comes calling because it’s becoming increasingly clear that Thomas is still a viable NBA player, he just needs a team to give him the opportunity.

 

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