Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas has taken another step in his comeback and was assigned to the team’s G League affiliate in Canton (Ohio) on Thursday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The move provides Thomas with his first opportunity to play five-on-five in his rehabilitation from a hip injury — and an opportunity to take a step forward and return to game situations. Because the veteran-laden Cavaliers don’t get chances to play five-on-five on practice days, the G League stint will allow Thomas to receive plenty of full-court run.
Thomas was a centerpiece of the Cavaliers’ blockbuster trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in late August, with Thomas joining Cleveland while rehabilitating from a hip injury that ended his 2016-17 season in the Eastern Conference finals. He has yet to play this season but has made significant progress and has currently targeted the first week of January for a potential return.
Nevertheless, both the Cavaliers and Thomas have wanted to ensure he comes back and stays on the floor for the long run without needing a game or two at times to rest due to soreness, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Thomas is one of the NBA’s elite guards, a two-time All-Star who was a member of the All-NBA second team last season. Thomas, 28, averaged 28.9 points, 5.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 76 games a season ago, leading the Celtics to a franchise resurgence.