Isaiah Thomas has agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Nuggets for the veteran’s minimum, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Thomas appeared in 17 games for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers acquired Thomas and his expiring contract, worth $6.2 million, from the Cleveland Cavaliers at the trade deadline in February. The trade was essential to clearing the cap space necessary to sign LeBron James to a max contract. The Lakers also received a first-round pick in the trade, later used to select Moritz Wagner.
Upon arrival, Thomas wasn’t expected to re-sign with the Lakers unless he was willing to take a massive paycut. However, as it turns out, they weren’t planning on bringing him back even on those terms.
Instead, the team signed veteran point guard Rajon Rondo to a one-year deal worth $9 million, effectively ruling out a return for Thomas. Rondo will reportedly compete with Lonzo Ball for the starting point guard spot.
It was only a season ago Thomas was leading the Boston Celtics to playoff wins in the fourth quarter. However, a nagging hip injury that required season-ending surgery ultimately led to Thomas signing a veteran’s minimum contract.
Thomas averaged 15.6 points on a career-low 37.3 percent from the field and 5 assists per game this season.
In Denver, Thomas will have a chance to rebuild his value on a playoff contender that has been searching for some semblance of stability at the point guard position. It’s highly unlikely he’ll start, but he’ll undoubtedly have a meaningful role off the bench.
If Thomas rediscovers the form that led to two All-Star selections while he was in Boston, the Nuggets got a great value. Unfortunately for Thomas, the Lakers didn’t feel they were in a position to take that risk on the 30-year-old.
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