To say Isaiah Thomas’ tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers was disappointing would be an understatement.
Thomas, acquired in an offseason trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics, played in just 15 games for the Cavs before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. He spent most of the season battling a hip injury and hasn’t been the same player he was in Boston since returning to the court, causing him to fall out of favor with Cleveland fans amid the team’s struggles.
It’s been a wild turn of events after such a special run with the Celtics, and perhaps no one is more shocked right now than I.T. himself. After all, here’s what he wrote on The Players’ Tribune back in September in a piece detailing his emotions regarding the trade from Boston to Cleveland:
I’mma just say this here, point-blank, to get it over with — and then you can go ahead and post it on whatever bulletin boards you want to: You are not going to want to mess with the Cavs this year. This is going to be a great year to be a Cavs fan, a great year. And I’m excited.
From a basketball perspective, me on the Cavs is a match made in heaven. If you’ve watched any Celtics games last year, then you know how many times I would have to go through double and even triple teams, just to get my shot off. It ended up working fine for us — guys played great, and my shot was falling. But this year … man, it’s not even going to be a thing. You really going to throw three guys on me, when I’m sharing a court with the best basketball player on the planet? Nah, I don’t think so.
And that’s just LeBron. I look up and down this roster, and all I see is guys I can’t wait to play with: Kevin Love (reunited with my old AAU teammate!), Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, Iman Shumpert … it’s no accident to me that these guys have won the East three years running. And now add me to the mix, and D. Rose, and my guy Jae? This roster, man — it’s just stacked. Cavs fans, let’s get ready to rock and roll.
Well, hindsight’s 20/20.
Not only has Thomas been terrible this season, particularly defensively, as the Cavs have struggled to match their high expectations. Cleveland also shipped away three of the players Thomas mentioned above — Iman Shumpert, Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder — in addition to himself before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
So yeah, Thomas might want to erase the last five months or so from his memory. His brief stint in Cleveland didn’t go as planned.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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