Isaiah Thomas’ tenure in Cleveland hasn’t exactly started off on the right foot. But that hasn’t stopped him from getting on the good side of the team’s owner.
According to Bleacher Report’s Ken Berger, Thomas has already become a favorite of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, and the two reportedly “often” exchange calls and text messages. From Berger’s story:
Thomas has become a favorite of Gilbert, and they often exchange calls and text messages, a league source familiar with their relationship told B/R. This isn’t necessarily unusual on a team with an owner who is as involved in the basketball side of things as Gilbert is. It also isn’t great for locker room chemistry, because the rest of the players know it.
”LeBron just looks at everybody as a shill for Dan,” the league source said.
There is a lot to unpack here. For one, if Thomas does get along well with Gilbert, that can’t help his relationship with LeBron James, who definitely is not close with Gilbert.
Thomas and Gilbert’s relationship will also be worth keeping on eye on come July when Thomas becomes a unrestricted free agent. If Gilbert likes Thomas, and is getting involved with the basketball side of things, then who's to say that won’t influence how the team approaches Thomas’ free agency? And how might that affect what LeBron decides to do, as he’s certainly going to have something to say about what the roster of whatever team he signs with looks like in 2018-19 and beyond. Maybe Thomas will get his Brinks truck full of money after all.
There’s still a lot of basketball to be played before free agency starts, but keep this nugget in mind when July rolls around and the Cavs have to decide what they’d be comfortable paying Thomas.