Published on May 24th, 2019 | by Landon Buford0
If You Want To Win Put Isaiah Thomas In, Says Nate Robinson
On August 30th, 2017, the Boston Celtics struck a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers would send Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first-round pick, and the Miami Heat’s 2020 second-round pick.
Once both teams announced the deal, an issue arose when Isaiah Thomas failed his physical in Cleveland. The Cavaliers had concerns with Isaiah Thomas’s hip after he injured it during the 2017 playoffs.
On January 1st, 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that Thomas would make his long-awaited season debut on January 2nd, 2018. After missing 36 games as he recovered from his hip injury.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) January 1, 2018
During his introductory press conference back in September of 2017, said he was excited to be teammates with LeBron James.
“I’m excited to play with the best player in the world,” Thomas told reporters. “I’ve been in situations before where things have been a little tough and we haven’t had the best players and we just kept fighting and worked with what we had. … Being put in this situation on the court is everything.”
However, Thomas time with the Cavaliers did not last long as he was traded again to the Los Angeles Lakers per Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports, along with Channing Frye and Cleveland’s 2018 first-round pick in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. Thomas would go on to play 17 games with the Los Angeles Lakers before he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right hip that would sideline him for four months.
MEDICAL UPDATE: Isaiah Thomas had successful arthroscopic surgery to his right hip today.
Thomas will miss the remainder of the season. His expected recovery time is four months. pic.twitter.com/w8Gne6lvGT
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 29, 2018
Thomas met with Tim Connelly, Denver’s president of basketball operations, and coach Michael Malone in Las Vegas in recent days, continuing to talk and text with them about a role and the circumstances surrounding him joining the Nuggets, league sources said.
At the time, Mike Malone informed Thomas, that he would like to utilize his scoring and playmaking ability off the bench once he returned from his hip injury.
On February 13th, 2019, Thomas would make his season debut against his former team the Sacramento Kings. Thomas would go on to score eight points in 13 minutes in a 120-118 victory.
A month later, however, Mike Malone decided to bench, Thomas and showcase a shorter rotation that featured Monte Morris according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post.
Malone gave Thomas praise about being a competitor, but also stated it would be a difficult spot to be in.
“He’s a competitor,” Malone said. “I know it’s not easy for him.”
The Denver Nuggets season would end after a 100-96 loss to the Portland Trailblazers in game seven of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
During a recent phone conversation with former Celtic Nate Robinson shared that he thinks Isaiah Thomas could have made a difference if he was in the rotation. He also shared how he could benefit his next team now that he is healthy.
“Everybody could use him; it is just how they want to use them in their game plan. He is now in the same boat as me being passed around the league to different teams. They want to use you for emergency purposes and takes a tone on your mental. It is knowing that you are good enough and your top four or top five in the MVP race averaging almost 29 points per game. That was not given he had to go out and take that because it takes hard work, and it is a grind. That’s heart over height and having a chip on your shoulder,“ said Robinson.
Hopefully, next year, depending on the right situation, I hope they let IT be IT that is all you need to do. Let him be him and don’t make him be someone else or not going to get that magical player. He will be sitting on the bench and his talent is going to waste and you’re telling me that Isaiah Thomas could not play in the Western Conference Finals for the Portland Trailblazers. A team that could not get any scoring off the bench in game four and I am not taking a shot at Seth Curry because he is solid. However, IT is way better than him and would give him buckets.
He would continue:
“If you are Denver how do you not use someone like him because he has the skill set to give you buckets and you win game seven against the Blazers in the Conference Semi-Finals? You guys are not getting swept and playing at least a game seven against the Warriors, but it didn’t happen that way. If you want to win put IT in.“
Thomas will be looking to sign a long term contract with his next team this summer.
As for Robinson, the former Celtic was acquired on February 18, 2018, along with Marcus Landry in exchange for Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, and a future conditional second-round pick. Robinson played a total of 51 games in a year and a half with the Celtics before being traded again to the Oklahoma City Thunder. During his year and a half with Boston, Robinson averaged 6.8 points, 1.55 rebounds, and 1.95 assists per game according to Basketball-Reference.com.