The Cavaliers still aren’t sure when injured guard Isaiah Thomas will be ready for his season debut, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Thomas will get his first chance to play alongside his Cavaliers teammates during the team’s practice today. He scrimmaged with the organization’s G League affiliate in Canton last week. Coach Tyronn Lue said the purpose of today’s workout is to “get some shots up, cover defensive rules and principles and also scrimmage a little bit so Isaiah can get a feel and play 5 on 5.”
When the Cavs departed on their current three-game road trip, they were hoping to have Thomas ready at some point. But he was held out of games at Golden State and Sacramento, and his status for Saturday’s contest in Utah is uncertain. Lue originally told reporters that Thomas wouldn’t play against the Jazz, but later said “I don’t know” to follow-up questions about his availability.
Cleveland travels to Boston next Wednesday, which would be a dramatic setting for Thomas to return, but Vardon speculates that Tuesday’s home game against the Trail Blazers is more likely. The Cavs were wary about throwing Thomas into a high-profile game against the Warriors and would likely view the Celtics the same way. Another possible date is January 6, when Thomas has a new shoe coming out and Cleveland plays at Orlando.
There’s more today out of Cleveland:
- Tristan Thompson is putting up the worst numbers of his career and may be a trade candidate before the February 8 deadline, Vardon writes in a separate piece. Thompson’s playing time has been cut to 17.7 minutes per game and he is averaging just 4.1 points and 4.8 rebounds. He has been on a minutes restriction since missing 20 games with a strained left calf muscle, and the team has been successful with Kevin Love as the starting center.
- Free agent addition Jeff Green has taken on several roles since coming to Cleveland, notes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Following the worst season of his career last year in Orlando, Green is happy in his new role with the Cavs. “I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t have any expectation,” Green said. “When I talked to T. Lue — we didn’t know back then, didn’t know the personnel that was going to be all in the locker room. It was just, ‘Jeff come in and be Jeff.’ Last year was a rough year so it was, ‘Jeff come in and be the player I know you can be. Play hard and things will fall into place.’ And that’s what’s happened.”
- LeBron James is putting up amazing numbers in his 15th NBA season, but the secrets to his longevity happened years ago, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.