Isaiah Thomas is oh-so-very close to making his Cleveland Cavaliers debut.
Whatever that means.
The point guard caused quite a stir on Sunday night with a cryptic tweet that suggested he was on the brink of returning from a hip injury that’s sidelined him since last season’s Eastern Conference Finals and factored into the Boston Celtics’ decision to trade him:
Locked in! It’s almost ??
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) November 27, 2017
December has often been cited as a target month for Thomas’ return, albeit a slightly ambitious one. But don’t take this tweet to mean he’ll be in the lineup when the Cavaliers face the battered and bruised and David Fizdale-less Memphis Grizzlies on Dec. 2. He won’t be.
At least, according to Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, it doesn’t sound like he will be:
“Regardless of his late night Tweet, Isaiah Thomas remains “steps away” from his Cavaliers debut, according to several people…”
One of those people, per Vardon, is Thomas. Though the soon-to-be free agent admitted his tweet was in reference to his progress, he preached patience when pressed about it:
The two-time All-Star told cleveland.com at Cavs shootaround Monday that while he was referring to his eventual return to the court, he had not reached a point in his recovery from hip injuries where he would feel comfortable playing in games.
“If I could average 30 points a night, I’d be out there already,” Thomas said. “I can’t right now so I’m not out there yet.”
Thomas said he participated in a portion of the Cavs’ practice Sunday, but has yet to play 3-on-3 (and therefore hasn’t done any kind of scrimmage with his team). He also said his conditioning is not where it needs to be.
Speaking generally of his progress, Thomas said “I’m almost there.”
That basically makes this an optimistic-leaning non-update. We already knew Thomas had resumed basketball activities. That he’s feeling good enough to post on social media about his recovery no doubt matters, but it’s hardly a harbinger of his timetable. He seems to be on track to return sometime soon; we just don’t know what “soon” means.
In the meantime, the Cavaliers will bask in their eight-game winning streaking, along with the knowledge they should be much more dangerous when they add Thomas, a dark-horse MVP candidate last season, to their rotation.