No player tanked their value as a free agent more over the last year than Isaiah Thomas. After an absolutely sensational 2016-17 campaign with the Boston Celtics ended prematurely due to a hip injury, Thomas was traded to Cleveland, struggled after returning from the aforementioned injury, got traded to the Lakers at the deadline, then underwent surgery to fix his injured hip after 17 games.
Now Thomas is healthy and hopes to re-capture his All-NBA form, reminding everyone that he’s a dynamic scoring guard capable of leading a team like he did in Boston. If that’s going to happen, it will occur in Denver, as the Nuggets signed Thomas as an unrestricted free agent, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Thomas averaged 15.2 points in 26.9 minutes per game with the Cavaliers and the Lakers last season. His number in Cleveland (14.7 points a night on 36.1/25.3/89.3 shooting splits) were slightly worse than his numbers in Los Angeles (15.6 points on 38.3/32.7/92.1 shooting splits), but neither held a candle to what Thomas did in Boston.
Hip injuries are tricky, so it’s going to be fascinating to see if the surgery Thomas received will completely fix the issues that have hobbled him for the last year. At the very least, the Nuggets — which desperately needed another point guard behind Jamal Murray — hope that will end up being the case.