2-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas last played more than 40 games in the NBA back during the 2016-17 NBA season. Being one of the shortest players in the NBA, Thomas had his fair share of critics when he first played in the NBA after being picked last overall during the 2011 NBA draft.
Regardless, the 60th pick came good for the Sacramento Kings for three years before an injury-disrupted 2014 season resulted in him being shipped to the Phoenix Suns, who traded him to the Boston Celtics after just one season. Regardless, Isaiah Thomas had his best years for the Celtics and averaged more than 20 points for two seasons, including a 28.9 ppg season in in 2017-18.
Regardless, constant injuries and a problematic ankle meant that Thomas quickly faded away and has become a bit of a journeyman in the NBA. Since the Celtics, Thomas has had stints with the Cavaliers, Lakers, Denver Nuggets, the Washington Wizards and the New Orleans Pelicans. In this article, we look at five teams who can give him a chance to redeem his NBA career in the 2021 free agency.
Five teams that should consider signing Isaiah Thomas in the 2021 NBA Free Agency
Isaiah Thomas has been working on his fitness in recent months and has produced some high-calibre performances. At Atlanta’s AEBL, Thomas dropped 65 points which was followed by a recent 81-point performance at Jamal Crawford’s “The Crawsover” Pro-Am League in Seattle. After the performance, Isaiah Thomas was seen crying in the locker room, and claimed that the NBA just “gave up on him.”
Thomas last played for the Pelicans on a ten-day contract during the 2020-21 NBA season after he was waived a day after being traded to the LA Clippers from the Pelicans in February 2020.
#5 Boston Celtics
A potential homecoming at this stage of Isaiah Thomas’ career makes perfect sense. The Boston Celtics have a squad they think can contend for the championship, and Thomas is a potentially all-star caliber player who has worked in recent months to get back to full fitness.
Thomas will be available for cheap, can straight up join the rotation behind new acquisition Dennis Schroder, and might even turn out to be a clever signing who takes the league by storm. Thomas certainly has the talent, and his recent shooting performances have been exemplary to say the least.
#4 New Orleans Pelicans
Another team that has been linked with Isaiah Thomas are the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans were not looking to bring him back straight away after his ten-day contract recently expired. However, his work over the past few months might as well result in the front office reconsidering.
Thomas should be available for a contract less than $2 million yearly which is a potential bargain considering the possible output. The Pelicans are also looking to add guards to their rotation and have Devonte’ Graham and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. A potential IT return might even change the pecking order as the season progresses.
#3 Denver Nuggets
The fact that the Denver Nuggets are not really title-contenders despite having the reigning MVP is a problem they will be looking to solve in the coming time. Jamal Murray’s injury troubles last season left them particularly thin at the guard position, something Isaiah Thomas can definitely help solve.
At his best, Thomas was a volume shooter with elite passing skills and even a potential run in the team as a role player might interest the Nuggets considering his price. Regardless, Isaiah Thomas might initially be offered another short-term deal by the teams mentioned here, and much will depend on whether he is able to recreate the form that he has shown at invitational tournaments in the NBA.
#2 Brooklyn Nets
After losing Spencer Dinwiddie and being exposed for a lack of depth in the guard position after injuries to Harden and Kyrie Irving last season, a potential move for Isaiah Thomas makes sense for the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets have multiple other free agents to sort out in the coming days.
Both Tyler Johnson and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot are expected to leave while Bruce Brown and Mike James are also free agents. In such a scenario, a potential All-Star caliber role-player in the form of Isaiah Thomas for under $ 2 million a year can be a potential steal.
#1 Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets recently lost Devonte’ Graham and have Lonzo Ball and Terry Rozier as their backcourt options. Isaiah Thomas might not be a regular starter but can be counted to make a decent impact from off the bench and has enough NBA experience to help a young roster to a potential playoff charge.
The Hornets in recent weeks have been linked to multiple back-court options but also need another star on the frontcourt, especially if Gordon Hayward is set to continue his injury troubles in the upcoming season. Hence, IT is an option that the Charlotte Hornets should look at as well.