The Roar
The Roar


Hold the phone: Thomas not a Cavalier yet

Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics drives past John Wall of the Washington Wizards. (Image: Keith Allison CC BY-SA 2.0)
Roar Guru
28th August, 2017

Isaiah Thomas’ hip injury has proven to be more worrisome than originally thought, putting the biggest deal of the offseason at risk of falling through.

An NBA team can renege on a deal if the players involved fail a physical examination. After the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers reached an agreement, the main remuneration for the Cavaliers has failed his physical.

Thomas carried a hip injury throughout the 2016-17 season and ultimately had to sit out the finals series between the Celtics and Cavaliers.

The lingering issue did nothing to dull Thomas’ impact on the court though, he averaged 28.9 points per game as well as 5.9 assists in the regular season.

However, it appears to have caught up to the All Star point guard, so much so that the Cavaliers are reportedly considering asking more for Kyrie Irving.

Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Nets’ No.1 pick were already traded for Irving, however, the Cavaliers reportedly want to add either Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum.

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is reluctant to add either player considering how valuable the exchange already is for the Cavs. Tatum was the number three pick in the 2017 draft and Brown is considered an up-and-coming star, having held his own against LeBron James in the most recent finals series – an impressive effort for a rookie.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James is defended by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


While unusual, there have been several instances where a franchise has voided an agreement due to a player’s health.

In 2009, the Oklahoma City Thunder backed out of a deal that involved Tyson Chandler after a doctor deemed that the veteran centre was at a high risk of re-injuring his left big toe.

Last year, a three-team set-up fell through after Donatas Motiejunas failed a physical examination due to back problems.

It’s unlikely that Ainge will part with any more assets to secure the services of Irving, so the Cavaliers would have two main options: proceed and wager that Thomas’ hip will hold up for another attempt at beating the Golden State Warriors, or cancel it all and bring Irving back to the team for a very uncomfortable and awkward season.

Cavaliers backup shooting guard Iman Shumpert has reportedly requested a similar trade, seemingly frustrated after being on the team’s trading block numerous times the last two years.