Isaiah Thomas is a newly minted Cleveland Cavalier, but other than a tweet welcoming him, Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic to the team from the Cavs official account, you wouldn't know it. There's been no acknowledgement of Thomas's arrival from LeBron James, who even sent out a string of tweets expressing his anger over a video of a Celtics fan burning Thomas's jersey without actually typing out Thomas's name. Ditto from any other prominent member of the Cavs. Even Cavs GM Koby Altman spent more time emphasizing the first round pick the Cavs got from Brooklyn than he does talking about his new players.
“This trade needed to include both players and assets that we felt strongly could help us continue to compete for championships and we believe it does,” Altman said in a press release. “We look forward to Isaiah, Jae and Ante joining us and also felt that the unprotected first round pick in the deal was very important for us and our future as well.”
Now there's some speculation from The Athletic's Jason Lloyd this morning that maybe, just maybe, the Cavs would trade Thomas before the 2017-2018 regular season begins. While that still feels far-fetched, at least for the moment, there's some sound reasoning behind the thinking.
Most pressing is the state of Thomas's right hip. The injury that forced the former Celtics point guard to miss the final three games of the Eastern Conference Finals has healed at an incredibly slow rate, so much so that there's worry he might not even be ready for the start of the regular season. Then there's the issue of Thomas's contract. It's up at the end of the season, and the man who averaged nearly 30 points per game last season is going to be looking for the max, something the Celtics, and now probably the Cavs, were hesitant to pay.
Would the Cavs turn around and ship Thomas elsewhere in the remaining months before training camp? It feels unlikely, but if Thomas's hip is still in bad shape, or the team has little interest in paying Thomas $200 million, it could certainly happen. Then, there's this final paragraph from ESPN's Dave McMenamin in an article that went up this morning concerning what the Cavs have left to do with the roster before training camp:
We'll just have to wait and see.