Veteran point guard Isaiah Thomas signed 10-day hardship deals with the Mavericks and Lakers last season before catching on with the Hornets to finish 2021/22. He has yet to play in ’22/23, but has been “staying ready” and hasn’t given up hope of finding a new team.
“I’ve been talking to two teams the last couple of weeks,” Thomas told Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com. “Hopefully they make a decision by the end of this week or early next week. But I’ve been in contact with teams monthly.
“So that’s the thing with me, like, I know it’s close; I just have to find the team that really wants me to be on board and me to help in any situation possible. My agency and my representatives are just trying to figure it out. Obviously there’s a lot of overseas interest, but that’s just not even on my mind right now, so I don’t even want to dip into that. My ultimate goal is to have an NBA jersey. That’s all I want.”
Thomas knows he might not have a significant role going forward like he did earlier in his career, but he still believes he can contribute on and off the court, according to Bulpett.
“I think at this point in my career, that will probably be the role of being a vet presence, teaching guys how to be professional — and also knowing that if my name is ever called, I’m ready to produce,” Thomas said. “I’m only 34 years old, but I haven’t played much the last three years really, so I haven’t had no real pounding on my body. The surgery in 2020 fixed the hip problem, and my body’s really 31, 32; I’ve got years to be able to play at a high level. But that’s not what I’m chasing; I want to be able to play in the NBA and go out on my own. That’s really what I want. I want to be able to play two or three more years, and if my name is called, I know I can produce at a high level. I know that for a fact.”
The two-time All-Star also tells Bulpett he has interest in a coaching or front office role in the future once his playing days are done.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Former Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah recently spoke to Marc J. Spears of Andscape about retiring from the NBA, his Cameroonian roots, and being an investor and ambassador of the Basketball Africa League, among other topics. “I’m very proud,” Noah said. “I’m very proud in being an investor in NBA Africa. I feel like this is opening up doors that I didn’t know were possible while I was playing. And I think that the future is very, very bright because Africa is not only shining right now, but they are [one of the] the youngest growing youth populations in the world. So. if you look at the numbers themselves, this league is just going to get better and better. It’s just so obvious.”
- Felton Spencer, who played 12 NBA seasons from 1990-2002, has passed away at age 55, the University of Louisville announced (via Twitter). A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Spencer was the No. 6 overall pick in the 1990 draft, holding career averages of 5.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 640 games with Minnesota, Utah, Orlando, Golden State, San Antonio and New York. Our condolences go out to his friends and family.
- Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report ranks the top 25 2023 NBA draft prospects competing in the NCAA tournament. At the top of the list is Alabama’s Brandon Miller, while Arkansas forward Jordan Walsh, who is known as a defensive difference-maker, rounds out the top 25.