BOSTON (CBS) -- Isaiah Thomas will finally make his Denver Nuggets debut Wednesday night.
Since his glory days with the Celtics, it has been a long and difficult road back for Thomas. The 29-year-old has played in just 32 games dating back to last season as he recovered from the hip injury that ended his 2017 postseason with Boston. But the 5-foot-9 guard was upgraded to "questionable" on Tuesday, participated in Denver's Wednesday morning shootaround, and finally declared good-to-go Wednesday afternoon.
Thomas had a career year for the Celtics in 2016-17, averaging 28.9 points and earning an NBA All-Second team nod. He led them to the Eastern Conference finals despite the death of his younger sister on the eve of the postseason, averaging 23.3 points in the playoffs before being shut down in the conference finals with a bad hip.
While he looked to be on his way to a big-money contract, Thomas has never been the same since that injury. He was dealt to Cleveland in Boston's mega-trade for Kyrie Irving, and played only 15 games for the Cavaliers before he was dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline. He played just 17 games for Los Angeles, averaging 15.6 points off the bench.
Viewed as damaged goods, the big payday never came for Thomas and he settled for a one-year, $2 million deal with the Nuggets over the offseason. Now he'll try to prove to the NBA world that he is still the dynamic scorer he once was on a Denver team vying for the top spot in the Western Conference. The Nuggets enter Wednesday night just two games back of the Golden State Warriors.
The majority of Celtics fans still have a special place in their heart for Thomas, a player who gave it his all during his brief time in Boston. Most will be happy that he's finally returning to the court. Thomas and the Nuggets visit Boston on March 18, which may be the night everyone finally gets to see the tribute video that caused so much controversy last season.
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