Isaiah Thomas has had a busy week. On Wednesday, he posted a video on his Instagram page breaking his silence regarding the blockbuster trade that sent Thomas to Cleveland in a package for Kyrie Irving. Not long after the video was posted, he released an exceptional farewell letter to Boston. In the piece he talked about what he did when he found out he was traded, as well as the legacy he left in Boston from just two-and-a-half years on the Celtics.
Also, Thomas is reportedly looking for a new agent ahead of the 2018 free agency period. After being one of the NBA’s biggest bargains for the last two years, Thomas is eyeing a major payday. The 2018 free agent class is extremely talented, and cap space is not as plentiful as it was the past two summers. According to The Ringer, Thomas was previously represented by Sam Goldfeder.
What got lost in all the Thomas farewell’s was an in depth story on ESPN by Tom Haberstroh about how the two-time all star’s hip injury is far more serious than most people think. Much has been made about Thomas’ hip, as the Cavaliers threatened to veto the trade with the Celtics without the inclusion of an additional asset following their evaluation of the injury. The Celtics eventually gave Cleveland a future second round pick to complete the trade, but the seriousness of Thomas’ injury became the biggest story in the NBA.
In his piece, Haberstroh points to a game in March against the Timberwolves as the first time Thomas injured his hip. There is a video of Karl-Anthony Towns falling on Thomas while the point guard was on the ground already after making a layup in traffic. While Haberstroh says that it was the first time Thomas injured his hip, the Celtics called it a knee injury. When Thomas was ruled out for the remainder of the season after exiting game 2 of the eastern conference finals, Boston acknowledged the hip injury for the first time as a re-aggravation of a labral tear.
Haberstroh explained how Thomas’ injury is extremely complicated, and that guards are more prone to hip problems due to the fact that they crouch and squat more than anyone else on the court. The story had a number of doctors explain how difficult it can be to diagnose a tear similar to what Thomas had, and that his decision to not have surgery was a gamble.
This is a chart shown in Haberstroh’s piece that lists a number of players that have had surgery on labral tears. Most missed a substantial amount of time, and Haberstroh said that, “when it comes to surgery, the sooner the better.” One of the doctor’s that was quoted in the story said that Thomas should have had surgery in May after Boston was eliminated from the playoffs.
"That would have been the time to get it fixed... It was a gamble."
The Cavaliers had a chance to shed some light on what they found in their evaluation of Thomas during their press conference on Thursday, but general manager Koby Altman declined to comment on that situation.
Koby Altman shutting down the questions about Isaiah Thomas' hip as quick as he can. "This won't be the hip injury press conference."— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) September 7, 2017
The only news that came out of the press conference regarding Thomas’ hip is that surgery is not in Cleveland’s plan for their new star point guard.
Altman says plan for Thomas is non-surgical. Thomas then says "Y'all hear that?" and draws laughter.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) September 7, 2017
It’s strange that the Cavaliers held up a huge trade like this one for over a week because of the injury, but then declined to comment on anything further. The right course of action to take is not clear due to the complexity of labral tears, and the teams involved haven’t yet revealed their rationale behind the decisions they have and will make regarding Thomas’ injury.