The Brinks truck is staying in 2017, as the Denver Nuggets have signed Isaiah Thomas to a one-year contract for the league’s veteran minimum, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The limited market for Thomas came as a result of a forgettable 32-game 2017-18 season split between the Cavaliers and Lakers, and with Thomas’ hip not looking like it was fully healed all the while.
It’s also a complete flip from the max contract the 5-foot-9 Thomas expected (from the Celtics) this time last year.
“I’m a max guy. So I deserve the max,” Thomas told NBC Sports Boston last July (prior to his eventual trade to the Cavaliers, of course). “We’ve got to just continue to take care of business on the court and let the cards fall where they may. But I’m happy for all the guards and all the other guys getting their money because they deserve it.
“My time is coming. [The Celtics] know they’ve got to bring the Brinks truck out.”
But it was in Cleveland that Thomas proved to be a horrendous fit with LeBron James. In addition to not meshing with James upon his return to game action, Thomas never appeared to be on the same page as Cavs coach Ty Lue (Thomas at one point questioned the Cavs’ coaching techniques), and shot at a career-worst 25.3 percent behind the arc before he was shipped to the Lakers near the trade deadline. Thomas regained some of his offensive pop during his brief run with the Lakers, averaging 15.6 points per contest and shooting almost 40 percent, but was shut down when his ailing hip flared up late in the year.
So instead, Thomas’ (slim) hopes for a deserved payday will come in Denver.
It’s with the Nuggets that Thomas will be reunited with ex-Sacramento head coach Mike Malone, and part of a Denver squad that finished with 46 wins a season ago (but finished in ninth place in the Western Conference for the second year in a row).
Thomas’ decision to sign with the Nuggets comes after Thomas took to the comments section of an Instagram post from NBC Sports Boston to let everybody know that he would be interested in returning to the Celtics on a one-year deal.
That interest, however, did not appear to be mutual.