The curious case of Isaiah Thomas and looking at why he's not in the NBA

Isaiah Thomas with the Washington Wizards
Isaiah Thomas with the Washington Wizards
Kunal Sethi

Isaiah Thomas recently dropped a whopping 65 points in a game for the AEBL (Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League). He was toying with defenders and launching threes like he was Steph Curry en route to recording a career-high 65 points, a number not many players can say they have achieved. Thomas was one of the finest smaller guards in the NBA during his prime with the Boston Celtics but an unfortunate series of events led to a derailed basketball career for the 32-year-old.

Why is Isaiah Thomas not in the NBA?

Isaiah Thomas with the Boston Celtics in 2017
Isaiah Thomas with the Boston Celtics in 2017

Isaiah Thomas has had one of the most unfortunate careers in the NBA. He led the Boston Celtics to the first record in the East in the 2016-17 NBA season with a 53-29 record, ahead of LeBron James' Cavaliers. He was 5th in MVP voting that season budidn't't get the nod over Russell Westbrook's triple-double campaign. Thomas injured his hip during the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals and was ruled out for the remainder of the postseason.

It was later discovered that Isaiah Thomas was playing through a vareity of hip issues for multiple seasons such as a loss of cartilage and some arthritis. This diagnosis practically ended his All-Star career and effectively made him a role player. He was traded to the Cavaliers in exchange for Kyrie Irving but didn't debut until January of next season. Isaiah Thomas was then traded to the LA Lakers but played just 17 games and was later ruled out of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to his right hip.

Thomas then bounced around the league from Denver to Washington and then New Orleans but was let go by all those teams after playing just a handful of games. His hip injuries always seemed to linger and unfortunately, the Celtics guard, who dropped 53 points in 2017 was reduced to a free agent scrambling for a roster spot in the NBA.

Isaiah Thomas clearly still has a lot of great basketball left in him. Although he could probably never be an All-Star again, Thomas could certainly help any team off the bench. He has assured fans that his injuries are behind him and he is willing to contribute in any form the team wants him to.

Also Read: What is a two-way deal in the NBA?

Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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