Isaiah Thomas Out Of Nuggets’ Rotation

Isaiah Thomas‘ comeback has hit another dead end, writes Nick Kosmider of The Athletic. The former All-Star will have his playing time sharply reduced as coach Michael Malone trims the Nuggets‘ rotation for the rest of the season.

Thomas has appeared in just nine games since returning last month after his latest hip surgery. He is averaging 8.6 PPG, but is shooting just 37.3% from the field and 27.3% from 3-point range.

Malone broke the news to Thomas before Tuesday’s game.

“You definitely talk to him, and I will keep that conversation between myself and IT,” Malone said. “Not an easy conversation, but that’s my job. It’s never about Isaiah or any individual. It’s about what’s best for our team. I made the decision to shorten the rotation, only play eight guys in the first quarter, and I’m going to continue to do that for the time being. Sixteen games to go, I’m trying to find a rhythm and a rotation that I feel like will give us the best chance to win now and into the playoffs.”

Thomas will be a free agent again this summer after signing a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with Denver last summer. The Nuggets knew he wouldn’t be available right away because of the surgery, but hoped he could develop into a backup point guard in time for the postseason. However, Monte Morris seized that slot while Thomas was sidelined, leaving the veteran guard with an uncertain future once again.

Thomas appeared on the verge of a max contract after a pair of All-Star seasons with the Celtics, but he was sent to Cleveland in the Kyrie Irving trade in 2017 and has never been able to overcome a lingering problem with his hip. Thomas, who turned 30 last month, has now had brief, unsuccessful stays with the Cavaliers, Lakers and Nuggets, playing a total of 41 games since leaving Boston.

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14 thoughts on “Isaiah Thomas Out Of Nuggets’ Rotation

    • fieldsj2

      Why not? Especially with the Kyrie situation. Nobody really has a clue where he’s gonna end up.

  1. Connorsoxfan

    There’s an opening when scary terry leaves. I mean Terry Rozier, because kyrie killed scary terry.

  2. jeremy

    Smart move IT not performing so why play him. Nuggets were fine without him .

  3. Watching his time on the floor these past few games, his body language wasn’t great, and it’s like he had no idea how the Nuggets work – every time Jokic was dribbling upcourt Thomas would be walking beside him with his hands ready for the pass.

  4. supercollider

    Yes, back to the Celtics. Makes sense all around. He’d have to accept short money and short minutes, but he can be an energy factor off the bench. Vinnie Johnson 2.0.

  5. LilGOAT

    I’m not sure I’d call IT’s stint with the Lakers unsuccessful. He gave them a good shooting boost in the 20 games he played there and was a positive veteran presence. Young guys like Kuz and Lonzo developed good relationships with him and they still engage on twitter. His stint in LA helped his image a bit which was at an all-time low following his time in Cleveland.

  6. hiflew

    IT is the perfect example for why players should sign extensions as soon as possible. Unless you are a LeBron or a Curry, your time near the top in the league is very short. I’d much rather be thought of as a bad expensive contract by fans than jump around the league on a vet’s minimum.

  7. D$!LLKU$H-og

    Still can’t believe Cleveland ended up with IT when they easily could have asked for Rozier instead. If BOS wanted Kyrie you play a little hard ball. IT, Crowder, Zizic and BKN 1st? Unbelievable they couldn’t get Rozier, Zizic, BKN 1st and Bradley or Crowder(prob Bradley for contract matching) at least.

    • x%sure

      Neither team seemed that interested in Rozier at the time. Cavs should have pushed for him on local connections alone but I think took an extra r2 pick instead, when it turns out IT could not even jog. I was livid online, gotta cancel that g.d. deal. But IT was a draw, the BRK r1 looked high, & nobody else was offering.

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