Isaiah Thomas signed a one-year, $2.2 million free-agent deal with the Denver Nuggets in July and NBA Hall-of-Famer Clyde Drexler believes Denver is a great fit for Thomas.
“Denver is a great place for him,” Drexler told Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson on Scoop B Radio. “I think he’ll have a chance to get out of the spotlight, work on his game, work on his health. I’m rooting for him.”
Thomas only played in 14 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers last season before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers at the February trade deadline. The guard shot just 36.1 percent from the floor and averaged 14.7 points and 4.5 assists in 27.1 minutes per game for Cleveland. He was one of six Cavs traded in February at the deadline.
With the Lakers, Thomas played a little better, posting 15.6 points and 5.0 assists in 17 games. The 29-year-old underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right hip on March 28, but claims he’s 100 percent now.
Thomas is being reunited with Michael Malone, who coached Thomas with the Sacramento Kings. The two have a very strong relationship and Thomas knows Malone will use him correctly and get the best out of him on the floor.
“Me having a real close relationship with coach Malone was probably the biggest key,” Thomas said when he signed with Denver. “And knowing that I wanted to go somewhere where they were going to allow me to be who I am, allow me to play to my strengths and at the same time be around a good group of guys that got the potential to be special.”
Thomas was once expected to command a max contract, but injuries and poor play on the court put an end to all that. Drexler says as long as Thomas stays healthy, the seven-year pro will be just fine.
“He’s just an awesome player,” Drexler told Robinson. “His injury is part of the reason he had the salary decrease. He’ll be fine, he’ll be OK in Denver.”