On Tuesday, it was reported that the New Orleans Pelicans would not re-sign Isaiah Thomas past his 10-day contract. In three games, Thomas averaged 7.7 points per contest. In his lone home game against the Sacramento Kings, Thomas received a standing ovation.
Following the announcement, new reports indicated that multiple Eastern Conference contenders are interested in adding Thomas to their roster.
The Heat are familiar with the idea of adding new names to their roster, as we’ve seen with the likes of Trevor Ariza, Victor Oladipo and Nemanja Bjelica this season. Last November, Thomas was caught competing in a scrimmage with Heat shorts on. Although the idea was downplayed, the 32-year old remained open to the idea of joining Miami ahead of the 2020-21 season.
The Heat currently contain the second-oldest roster in the NBA, but the veteran leadership that Thomas could provide can’t be dismissed. While with the Pelicans, Brandon Ingram was one of multiple players to give credit to his teammate.
“He just came in and did his job whenever he got in the basketball game but also on the bench,” Ingram said. “He was giving advice, talking to our younger guys, cheering us on no matter whether he gets in the game or not. That’s a big part of our team, also.”
After dealing away D.J. Augustin in a trade centered around P.J. Tucker in March, the Bucks are in a position to add depth to their point guard position. As an affordable option for Milwaukee, this appears to be a low-risk, high-reward situation.
While health may be a concern for skeptics, Thomas has participated in a series of FIBA AmeriCup qualifying games for Team USA leading up to his return to the NBA. Following his stint, the two-time All-Star is not concerned about his ability to compete at a high level.
“I’m as good now as I’ve been in any point in the last three years” Thomas said.
Could the fan favorite return to Boston? With under 20 games remaining in the 2020-21 regular season, the Celtics are currently projected to finish below a top five seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time in the last five seasons. After a failed Trade Deadline for the front office, the Celtics haven’t played at the level most expected coming into the season.
When Thomas last represented Boston, he was averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists on 38 percent shooting from beyond the arc. He finished fifth in league MVP voting that year and carried the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2012.
While his play has certainly regressed since then, Thomas has proven to be a valuable bench asset for any contender. The storyline is there, but it’s up to Danny Ainge to pull the trigger.