I honestly cannot wrap my head around this story. It’s so incredible, I feel like there aren’t powerful enough words to describe this whole situation. I’m never, ever one to have sympathy for a professional athlete when it comes to money, but I cant help it knowing what has happened over the last year.
Isaiah Thomas has reportedly agreed to a one-year $2 million contract with the Denver Nuggets, the veterans minimum (via ESPN). In 2016-2017 when he was with the Boston Celtics, “IT” had a breakout season averaging 28.9 points per game. There was an overwhelming belief that when his contract expired with the Celtics, he was going to sign a max deal with someone in the league. The max deal would have been worth around $150 million or so. Give or take a few mil.
Side note: I did not think Isaiah was worth a max contract, even at the time. He is undersized, at 5′-9″ (basically a little person) and is an absolute liability on the defensive end. Sure he could/can score at a high clip but not very efficiently. He was still worth a lot more money than he was making at the time, however.
But anyway, the only reason that I feel for Thomas is because he hasn’t gotten a huge payday by the standards of the NBA. Part of the reason he hasn’t is because he was the dead last pick in the 2011 draft by the Sacramento Kings. Through his first 3 years in the league, he was only making 6 figure salaries, which may seem like a lot but when we’re talking about a league where certain players make that every 2-3 GAMES, it’s not a lot at all. Not many 60th overall picks can even manage to stay in the league for a year, much less, have a very successful career. And for that alone, he deserves insane props. After his 3 years with the Kings, he was signed by the Celtics where he flourished.
His success in Boston helped him pop into MVP conversations, but just before the start of the regular season of 2017-2018, the Celts traded him to the Cavs. There were then talks about Thomas being injured before the trade even happened. Those talks were correct. He missed half of the season last year and his stock tanked when he came back. He was awful and almost immediately traded to the Lakers.
The bottom line is that he was soooo close to having F You money. So close. But since he ran into unfortunate circumstances at exactly the wrong time, he lost an unfathomable amount of potential money over the course of just 13 months.
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