11:05am: Thomas won’t actually spend any time in the G League, according to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Nuggets are in Philadelphia and had intended to get Thomas some practice time with the Delaware Blue Coats, but he’ll remain with the NBA club for now due to a “lack of healthy bodies,” tweets T.J. McBride of Mile High Sports.
10:23am: Nuggets point guard Isaiah Thomas appears to be moving closer to getting back on the court, as Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that Denver has sent Thomas to the G League for a rehab assignment.
The Nuggets don’t have a G League club of their own, so they’ll have to assign Thomas to another NBA team’s affiliate. Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days (Twitter link) hears that Thomas has joined the Delaware Blue Coats, Philadelphia’s G League squad. In fact, the 30-year-old has already been assigned and recalled, tweets Johnson.
Thomas, who signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Nuggets last summer, has spent the season recovering from hip surgery. A recent report suggested that Denver was optimistic the veteran guard would return before the All-Star break, though head coach Michael Malone stressed that there was no set timeline for Thomas’ return.
A brief rehab assignment in the G League, where teams practice more frequently, has become common for veterans recovering from injuries. The Nets, for instance, assigned Caris LeVert to their NBAGL affiliate earlier this week in advance of his impending return. In Thomas’ case, given his eight years of NBA experience, he would have had to approve the assignment.
While Thomas’ return appears close, it will be interesting to see how he slots into Denver’s rotation. Monte Morris and Malik Beasley have enjoyed breakout years for the Nuggets, which may limit the minutes available to Thomas in a backcourt that also features Jamal Murray and Gary Harris.