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Isaiah Thomas agrees to veteran’s minimum deal with Nuggets

Isaiah Thomas

Adrian Wojnarowksi of ESPN, the point guard will remain in the Western Conference after agreeing to a one-year deal with the Denver Nuggets. Thomas’ new contract is reportedly worth only the veteran’s minimum.

Thomas used to expect that he’ll be inking a mega-sized contract in this summer, but a problematic hip, rocky stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers, and the tight budgets of NBA teams have all played a part in the point guard signing a cheap contract. Thomas is perhaps going to use his stint in Denver as a “prove it” year in hopes of convincing front offices next year to show him more money.

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This is a high-reward, low-risk gamble for the Nuggets, who aspire to reach the Western Conference playoffs this season. For Thomas, it is a chance to re-establish himself on a winning team, stay healthy and re-enter free agency next summer.

The Nuggets’ backcourt features the young tandem of Gary Harris and Jamal Murray, but Thomas can carve out a significant role coming off the pine. After all, Denver’s guard rotation is not that deep, so expect Thomas to average at least 25 minutes per game with the Nuggets.

In Denver, Thomas will also reunite with Mike Malone who coached the guard in Sacramento.

Malone is planning for Thomas, rehabbing from hip surgery, to play a significant scoring and playmaking role off the Nuggets bench. Malone coached Thomas with the Sacramento Kings in 2013-14 and has been enthusiastic about incorporating him into the Nuggets.

Isaiah Thomas, 29, played 32 games last season (15 with the Cavs and 17 with the Lakers) and finished the campaign with averages of 15.2 points, 4.8 assists, and 2.1 rebounds in 26.9 minutes per contest.