The last few years have been tough for Isaiah Thomas.
After becoming one of the better stories in the NBA during a standout 2016-17 season with the Boston Celtics, Thomas’ career began to spiral when he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving that summer. Thomas struggled with injuries in Cleveland, and shortly thereafter he was part traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Suddenly, Thomas’ NBA career was in jeopardy. He played just 12 games with the Denver Nuggets last year, and despite earning the starting point guard job with the Washington Wizards, Thomas once again finds himself in limbo.
The Wizards traded Isaiah Thomas to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday afternoon as part of a three-team deal that also Marcus Morris sent to L.A. However, David Aldridge of The Athletic reported the Clippers will not be keeping Thomas:
The Clippers will not be keeping Isaiah Thomas, acquired today from Washington in three-team deal with Knicks that brought Marcus Morris to LA and send Moe Harkless/picks to NYC, per league source.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) February 6, 2020
As such, it is only a matter of time before Thomas hits free agency yet again. Although the veteran is hardly the prolific scorer he once was in Boston, Thomas still has value to offer a number of teams.
Here are the three best landing spots for Isaiah Thomas.
3. Golden State Warriors
Obviously, joining the worst team in the NBA is hardly a winning move for Isaiah Thomas from an individual perspective. Nonetheless, it might make sense for Golden State to give him a “tryout” of sorts.
The Warriors traded star point guard D’Angelo Russell to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday, and they could use some depth from Isaiah Thomas at that spot even if Stephen Curry does indeed return early in March.
Ky Bowman is on a two-way contract, and Jordan Poole is more of a shooting guard. Plus, the Warriors also dealt Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III.
Isaiah Thomas would be intriguing in Golden State. Yes, he can be ball-dominant from an offensive standpoint, and he is a pretty poor defender. But he is also shooting better than 40 percent from beyond the arc, and he is pretty proficient in the pick-and-roll.
If nothing else, Isaiah Thomas would be a nice veteran mentor for some of the younger players.
2. Phoenix Suns
How about a reunion in the desert?
Ricky Rubio has been solid as Phoenix’s starting point guard, but he is also playing fairly heavy minutes because the Suns lack a lot of depth at the position.
Isaiah Thomas would hardly do anything to help the Suns’ defensive deficiencies, but he can provide scoring off the bench and add some floor spacing.
The Suns had initially been hoping to add Luke Kennard at the deadline, but Isaiah Thomas could play a similar role as someone who spaces the floor while also having the ability to make plays for his teammates. Besides, it would be cool to watch him run the pick-and-roll with Deandre Ayton.
1. Boston Celtics
Thomas has said he would love to return to Boston if the opportunity presented itself.
Perhaps this move does not make sense from a basketball perspective, as the Celtics already have a ton of backcourt players on their roster.
At the same time, Isaiah Thomas might be a better option than the likes of Brad Wanamaker, and there is some familiarity there.
If nothing else, the fans in Beantown would love to see Isaiah Thomas back in a Celtics jersey.