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All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas will play for his third team in the last 12 months after he signed a one-year deal worth $2 million with the Denver Nuggets.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported Thomas’s signing, adding that the point guard will be reunited with Michael Malone, who was his coach during his stint with the Sacramento Kings.
Thomas will add a veteran presence to the young Nuggets, which recently re-signed star center Nikola Jokic and sixth man Will Barton to a long-term contract. The team also drafted Michael Porter Jr. with the 14th overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft.
In his two seasons with the Boston Celtics, Thomas turned into a superstar. During the 2016-17 season, Thomas averaged a career-best 28.9 points per game and led the Celtics to the No. 1 seed after finishing the regular season with a 53-29 record.
However, Thomas’s career woes began when he aggravated a hip injury in the playoffs. In the Eastern Conference Finals against Cleveland, Thomas was sidelined in the last three games, allowing the Cavaliers to book a spot in the NBA Finals.
Thomas In Line To Sign Maximum Deal
Despite his injury, the Celtics were expected to sign Thomas to a maximum contract. However, that did not materialize as he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on August 2017 as part of the deal that sent fellow All-Star guard Kyrie Irving to the Celtics. Aside from Thomas, the Celtics shipped Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a 2018 first-round pick to the Cavaliers for Irving.
Thomas’s tumultuous stay in Cleveland lasted just months as he was shipped by the Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers before the February trade deadline. The Cavaliers got Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson while the Lakers acquired Thomas, Channing Frye, and a first-round pick.
Thomas missed the Cavaliers’ first 36 games last season, but he averaged 14.7 points per contest on 36.1 percent shooting in 15 games for Cleveland. Thomas played 17 games for the Lakers, averaging 15.6 points before his season was ended by arthroscopic surgery on his right hip in March.
Thomas Was 60th And Last Pick in 2011
The 5-foot-9 Thomas was selected last (60th overall) in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Kings, where he played for three seasons. The Kings then traded Thomas to the Phoenix Suns, who signed him to a four-year, $27 million deal. However, he was traded by the Suns to the Celtics after playing just 46 games with the squad.
During the 2015-16 season, in his first full year with Boston, Thomas emerged as a legitimate offensive threat as he averaged 22.2 points in 82 games. In his 2 ½ years with the Celtics, Thomas averaged 24.7 points and 6.0 assists per game.
Photo: Keith Allison | Flickr
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