Malone is planning for Thomas, rehabbing from hip surgery, to play a significant scoring and playmaking role off the Nuggets bench.
Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas has signed a one-year $2.3 million deal with the Denver Nuggets, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Nuggets would have faced a significant luxury tax bill after doling out a max contract to Jokic and a reported four-year deal for Barton.
After opening his National Basketball Association career with the Sacramento Kings in 2011-12 and subsequently playing for the Phoenix Suns, Thomas exploded into stardom with the Boston Celtics. Thomas was in MVP contention in his final campaign with Boston, but things went downhill when he injured his hip.
Last season, Thomas started with the Cavaliers, but he did not get to take the court until January due to a hip injury he was recovering from.
This is a high-reward, low-risk gamble for the Nuggets, who aspire to reach the Western Conference playoffs this season. He was a valuable contributor for the Lakers after last season's trade, adding some veteran leadership to a very young club. He averaged 15 points per game in his 32 contests, far from the 29 points per game he averaged in the 2016-17 season as a member of the Celtics.
If Thomas can prove he's healthy for the entire season, he'll likely set him up for a much more lucrative payday next summer.