Isaiah Thomas excited to be ‘a gym rat’ this summer, insists he’ll return to prior form
Two full seasons and one debilitating surgery on his troublesome right rip removed from making Second Team All-NBA, Isaiah Thomas has hardly given up hope of re-establishing himself as one of the NBA’s most dangerous playmakers. In fact, after an offseason spent honing his game in the gym rather than rehabbing, the free-agent guard insists he will reach that level of play sooner rather than later.
“Nobody knew what to expect with me coming off hip surgery last year, and two summers of rehab,” Thomas said, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi. “Now I can go back to being a gym rat this summer, work on my game again and build my body back up — my muscle mass, my leg strength — all like I had going into the 2017 season.”
“I’m going to get back to a level that I was playing at. I’m excited to show what I can do again.”
The Denver Nuggets took a one-year flier on Thomas last summer after he struggled to find his footing with both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers during the 2017-18 season, ultimately leading him to go under the knife to address lingering pain in his hip. He didn’t debut with the Nuggets until February, and was yanked from the team’s playing rotation for good after just 12 games of ineffectiveness and inefficiency, averaging 8.6 points on 37.3 percent shooting.
At 30-years-old with a history of lower-body injuries, it would be shocking if Thomas regained the form that thrust him into MVP contention with the Boston Celtics in 2016-17. With a full summer of training ahead of him, though, there’s indeed a chance Thomas proves himself worthy of a roster spot next season with a team in need of offensive punch off the bench.