It has been a rough season for Isaiah Thomas, but the real story begins last campaign.
While with the Boston Celtics, Thomas gutted out a hip injury to help guide the C’s deep into the playoffs with an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals.
But playing through that injury hindered Thomas big time later on. After being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the offseason, he didn’t make his first game appearance until January. He underperformed in his 15 games with the Cavs and was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers at the NBA trade deadline. That hip injury recently was re-aggravated, and now he’s done for the season after opting for surgery.
As a result, he likely won’t get the max contract he was expecting once he hits free agency this offseason.
His former Celtics teammate Kelly Olynyk, now with the Miami Heat, had some pretty high praise for Thomas as a person and a teammate for his contributions to Boston.
“Last year, (during our playoff run) we didn’t know it, but he was sacrificing his own career for everybody in that city,” Olynyk told The Miami Herald’s Manny Navarro. “No one knew that at the time. If you look back a year now, he literally sacrificed his career, his earnings, everything for that stretch. And then to get traded and get traded again and now to have surgery, I don’t know if he has any regrets or looks at it a different way, but you just wish him the best. Good people deserve good things in this world and hopefully it comes for him.”
Few players’ careers have spun out quite like Thomas’ has this season. Despite the obstacles, Olynyk is adamant that Thomas — who finished fifth in MVP voting last season — deserves a nice payday.
“I don’t know what will happen in terms of his contract, but he deserves to make money in this game,” Olynyk said. “He’s brought a lot to the game, brought a lot to that city in Boston. Anywhere he goes, he gives his heart and soul to the game of basketball.”
While Thomas’ future is uncertain, lest we forget the point guard certainly is no stranger to proving people wrong after being counted out.