Free agent guard Isaiah Thomas has some high expectations for himself if he received another chance in the NBA.
Thomas believes that he could make a serious impact with a consistent role on a team, and he even went as far to say that the game is “easy” to where he could push 20 points per game.
“Give me a real bench role where I play in both halves? I’ll give you 14 and 4 in 18 mins easy. I’ll make an impact”
– Isaiah Thomas
— Ball Don't Stop (@balldontstop) November 15, 2022
“Don’t give me 25 minutes,” Thomas said. “The game is that easy. I could already tell you I’m gonna get 18 to 20, if I get that minutes. Because of where my mind is in the game.”
A two-time All-Star, Thomas has struggled to stick in the NBA over the last few seasons, despite getting a few opportunities to play a small role for teams.
Thomas dealt with a hip injury in the 2016-17 season and played through the injury in the playoffs that season for the Boston Celtics. He hasn’t been the same since the injury, and that season was the last campaign that he was an All-Star.
The Celtics traded Thomas to the Cleveland Cavaliers ahead of the 2017-18 season, but he didn’t last the full season with the team before being traded again. Since playing for Boston, Thomas has had stints with the Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers (twice), Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks and Charlotte Hornets.
The last team Thomas played with was the Hornets in the 2021-22 season. He appeared in 17 games and averaged 8.3 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 12.9 minutes per game.
Thomas appears to be comfortable in taking on a smaller role, including coming off the bench, for another chance to prove he belongs in the NBA. An undersized guard, Thomas made the most of his ability after being selected with the No. 60 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
He has three seasons in his career where he averaged over 20.0 points per game, and he was an All-NBA selection in the 2016-17 season while with Boston. In that season, Thomas averaged 28.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Even though his fall from stardom was rather quick, Thomas has the confidence in his ability that he could be a valuable player for an NBA team right now.
It’s unclear if there is a team willing to take a chance on Thomas at the moment, but it’s possible an injury to a player in the 2022-23 season could open up a spot for him on a roster.