Fantasy Impact: IT Returns
During the offseason, the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers agreed on a trade, highlighted by the swap of All-Star point guards Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas, but has since only truly benefited the Celtics to this point. Now, about midway through the season, Thomas is set to make his highly anticipated season debut tonight against the Portland Trailblazers, after recovering from a hip injury that forced him out of last year’s playoff run. While he’s expected to be on a minutes limit, and come off the bench, IT’s game brings the Cavs a dynamic that has been missed throughout the year.
Last season, Isaiah Thomas was huge for Boston, leading them to the top seed in the Eastern Conference with an impressive and unexpected 53-29 record. Over the course of the ’16-’17 campaign, IT would average 28/5/2, lead the league in 4th quarter points, and eclipse over 2,000 points for the 1st time in his career. This MVP caliber type season, made the C’s a real competitor and they looked to be not too far from a very bright future. However, in the Eastern Conference Finals, Thomas would further aggravate his hip during game 2, which had given him trouble earlier in game 6 of the previous playoff series versus the Washington Wizards. Unfortunately, this wasn’t something that would just go away, forcing him to call it quits before things got worse and begin the road to recovery. The Celtics would drop the series to the Cavaliers 1-4, and it would soon be clear they would be without their best player for much longer than just the offseason.
It’s very possible that Isaiah Thomas will likely be on a hard minutes restriction for a period of time and will probably play a reserve role for a while, although, he still does bring a certain appeal to the fantasy side of things. I’m not saying that you should roster him right away, and I don’t advice that at all, as we will need to see how he progresses in his recovery process and readjusts to both his new team and the game itself, but Thomas is a great player, and will hopefully be back to his old ways not too long from now. Last year proved a lot, and while the trade between the Cavs and Celtics may have felt forced in a way, Cleveland is nonetheless receiving a solid return in the point production market along with a star, who should only get better playing with the king, LeBron James.