Isaiah Thomas’ injured hip has become a sticking point in trade talks between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, but Thomas was adamant in a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that his hip would not cause long-term problems for his career:
"I am not damaged," Thomas told ESPN on Tuesday. "I'll be back, and I'll be the same player."
Thomas indicated that he could miss time to start the season, but also was steadfast in his assertion that the injury wouldn’t cost him his long-term future as an NBA player, citing that doctors have reassured him that his injury wouldn’t cause long-term damage.
"There's never been an indication that I wouldn't be back, and there's never been an indication that this is something messing up my career," Thomas told ESPN. "Maybe I am not going to be back as soon this season as everyone wants me to be, but I'm going to be back, and I'm going to be the same player again. No doctor has told me anything different than that."
Thomas chose not to opt for surgery for his hip, and explained why and how he played injured for as long as he did.
"I haven't had one doctor tell me that this injury is going to hurt my career," Thomas said. "Surgery was not the best option in this case. I aggravated it in March when [Minnesota's] Karl-Anthony Towns fell on me. I kept playing on it, and making it worse -- until I couldn't play anymore last season."
Wojnarowski also reported that Thomas has been in constant contact with the Cavaliers since taking his physical, but he appears to be just as in the dark about what’s going to happen as we are.
"I don't know what [the organization] is doing," Thomas told ESPN. "It's out of my control. I just want to talk about what I can control, and I know that this (hip) won't be a problem into the future."
This is good to hear if you’re a Cavs fan or a member of the Cavs organization, but unfortunately, their window is right now, especially with Thomas’ and LeBron James’ free agencies looming. If the Cavs only get Thomas for half the year, that matters for them, especially if they’re deciding on whether or not to bring him back long term.
This certainly appears to be a pickle, but Woj’s reporting seemed to indicate that this deal will still get done as the Cavs asking price has waned.
It remains to be seen how exactly this plays out, but knowing that the Cavs are involved, it’s a safe bet to assume that it’ll be as dramatic and difficult as humanly possible.
Editor’s note: This story has been edited to include that Thomas has been in contact with the Cavaliers organization since taking his physical