Isaiah Thomas was remarkable for the Boston Celtics in 2016-17, averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists and finishing fifth in MVP voting. But Thomas was then traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a deal that was essentially a swap for Kyrie Irving, and things went terribly for the guard in 2017-18. Thomas averaged 15.2 points per game and had just a .373 field goal percentage (down 90 points from the previous year), and was dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline.

Last July, Thomas said he deserves a max contract and that the Celtics would have to “bring the Brinks truck out” to sign him to an extension. And he was absolutely deserving of such a contract then. But after his brutal 2017-18 season, he’s unfortunately found himself having to settle for the veteran’s minimum with the Denver Nuggets on a one-year deal.

This is pretty rough, and Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin put it well:

Thomas is only 29, so he has the opportunity to re-establish his value and get paid next offseason. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted, Denver’s head coach is Michael Malone, Thomas’ old coach with the Kings. So the familiarity and comfort could help bring out the best of Thomas, and without the pressure he faced in Cleveland.

Oh, and the Nuggets weren’t done making moves on Thursday night. Denver traded Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur, a 2019 protected first-round pick, and a future second-round pick to the Brooklyn Nets for Isaiah Whitehead. It’s a salary dump.

And then the Nets made another move, by trading veteran point guard Jeremy Lin to the Atlanta Hawks.

An out-of-nowhere busy late Thursday night in the NBA.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.