Thomas

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Isaiah Thomas, New Hip and All, Ready to Resume NBA Career

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Isaiah Thomas isn’t done yet.

After getting cut loose by the NBA last winter and having hip-resurfacing surgery, the former University of Washington guard says he’s ready to resume his pro basketball career, confident he can play again.

“In some way, the time off because of COVID was a blessing in disguise for my career,” Thomas told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “It allowed me to take the time to get this procedure done and get back physically to a level I need to be to compete in the league.”

Thomas, a two-time All-Star, had his body deteriorate following nine seasons in the league with seven teams, to the point the Washington Wizards released him last February. 

A Tacoma, Washington, native, Thomas was a two-time Pac-10 tournament MVP player for the Huskies who passed up his senior season to enter the NBA draft. Washington retired his jersey No. 2, which was previously worn by Nate Robinson. 

He’d been battling debilitating hip issues for the past three seasons. He was injured in the 2017 playoffs just as his game reached its highest level with the Boston Celtics, when he was averaging more than 28.9 points per game. 

The shooting guard believes he returned to the court too soon the following season after his trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He played just 52 games in two years. 

Thomas, 31, sought out New York orthopedist Edwin Su with the hope the physician could restore his balance and eliminate his chronic pain.  

“It’s like night and day for me,” Thomas told ESPN. “There’s no more pain. For three years, I was trying to play the best players in the world on one leg.”

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Detroit Pistons impressed by Khyri Thomas’ shooting in bubble

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Coach Dwane Casey’s takeaways from Detroit Pistons bubble workouts, including being pleased with the development of some youngsters, Oct. 2, 2020.

Detroit Free Press

Second-round draft picks generally don’t carry high expectations when entering the NBA. But theDetroit Pistons thought highly of Khyri Thomas’ potential in 2018.

They sent two future second-round picks to the Philadelphia Sixers to acquire Thomas (picked 38th overall) before taking a player with similar strengths in Bruce Brown four picks later. 

Brown has since solidified himself as a rotation player, while injuries have prevented Thomas from establishing a consistent role. An injury-depleted roster enabled Brown — along with several other young players such as Svi Mykhailiuk and Christian Wood — to seize more minutes last year. A stress reaction in Thomas’ right foot and an early end to the season limited him to just eight games in 2019-20. 

Detroit Pistons guard Khyri Thomas shoots against Milwaukee Bucks forward Jason Smith (during the fourth quarter at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, Jan. 1, 2019 in Milwaukee. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports)

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More: Pistons’ Thon Maker on potential free agency: ‘I’ve always loved Detroit’

On paper, Thomas has the pedigree to be a reliable 3-and-D role player. He’s only 6-foot-3, but has a 6-10 wingspan. He’s a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a 40.6% 3-point shooter during his three seasons at Creighton. 

Thomas benefitted from the Pistons’ group workouts during the last three weeks, head coach Dwane Casey told reporters. The in-market bubble, which ended Friday, gave him an extended opportunity to showcase his game. 

And the timing could work in his favor since

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Detroit Pistons’ Khyri Thomas making case for minutes after injury riddled start to career

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Second-round draft picks generally don’t carry high expectations when entering the NBA. But the Detroit Pistons thought highly of Khyri Thomas’ potential in 2018.

Dwane Casey’s takeaways from Detroit Pistons bubble workouts

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UP NEXT

They sent two future second-round picks to the Philadelphia Sixers to acquire Thomas (picked 38th overall) before taking a player with similar strengths in Bruce Brown four picks later. 

Brown has since solidified himself as a rotation player, while injuries have prevented Thomas from establishing a consistent role. An injury-depleted roster enabled Brown — along with several other young players such as Svi Mykhailiuk and Christian Wood — to seize more minutes last year. A stress reaction in Thomas’ right foot and an early end to the season limited him to just eight games in 2019-20. 



David Mansaray playing a game of basketball: Detroit Pistons guard Khyri Thomas shoots against Milwaukee Bucks forward Jason Smith (during the fourth quarter at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, Jan. 1, 2019 in Milwaukee.


© Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Khyri Thomas shoots against Milwaukee Bucks forward Jason Smith (during the fourth quarter at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, Jan. 1, 2019 in Milwaukee.

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[ The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Pistons content. ]

More: Pistons’ Thon Maker on potential free agency: ‘I’ve always loved Detroit’

On paper, Thomas has the pedigree to be a reliable 3-and-D role player. He’s only 6-foot-3, but has a 6-10 wingspan. He’s a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a 40.6% 3-point shooter during his three seasons at Creighton. 

Thomas benefitted from the Pistons’ group workouts during the last three weeks, head coach Dwane Casey told reporters. The in-market bubble, which ended Friday, gave him an extended opportunity to showcase his game. 

And the timing could work in

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Thomas College to play some fall sports with UMaine-Presque Isle

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Thomas College forward Ellie Hoving, of Bristol, dribbles the ball during a game last fall. Submitted photo/Thomas College athletics

WATERVILLE — Thomas College announced Tuesday morning it reached an agreement to play some fall sports with the University of Maine at Presque Isle during the coronavirus pandemic.

Thomas and UMPI will compete in soccer, cross country and golf, with events beginning Saturday and concluding Oct. 18. UMPI does not have field hockey or women’s tennis teams.

“We are very excited to be able to offer this opportunity to our student-athletes,” Thomas College athletic director Chris Parsons said in a statement. “Of course, the safety and wellbeing of student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff members will continue to be the top priority while conducting these contests. UMPI is the right partner for us to compete against because of their size, location and testing standards that are similar to ours.”

UMPI and Thomas compete in the North Atlantic Conference, along with Maine Maritime, Husson, and UMaine-Farmington.

The NAC canceled all conference competition this summer, but left open the possibility for members to schedule nonconference games.

UMPI will host Thomas in golf and cross country on Saturday. The soccer teams will play games Oct. 10. and Oct. 17.

Thomas announced that participants will be tested for COVID-19 prior to each contest and masks will be required during competition. Furthermore, spectators will be limited. School officials also said they hope to find opportunities for the field hockey and women’s tennis teams to compete this fall.

 

This story will be updated. 


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