It may not seem like Isaiah Thomas is a crucial player following what many have considered the rise and fall of Isaiah Thomas. But Thomas could actually be the most important player in the entire league. Isaiah Thomas could carry a very similar impact on the league as Kawhi Leonard did this past off season. It all starts with Isaiah Thomas getting the opportunity to start the season healthy, in a starting position for the first time since his 28 points per game season. Here’s a step by step guide on how Isaiah Thomas could change the entire landscape of the league.
Step 1: IT Gets Back to his Elite Status
The first step to this puzzle begins with Isaiah Thomas back on top. Right now, the Wizards franchise point guard in John Wall remains sidelined for yet another year. Thomas is one of two points guards on the Wizards, joining Ish Smith. There’s no question Thomas be be given a starters minutes, and an opportunity to get back to where he was. This is something Washington has offered Thomas as they enter an era of uncertainty regarding the future of their point guard position. The first step towards Isaiah Thomas taking over, and becoming the most important person in the league, is Thomas’ capitalization of this opportunity. If Thomas proves that he is still an elite point guard in the NBA, the Wizards will have a lot of big decisions to make next off season.
Step 2: The Wizards Put Their Trust in Thomas
Let this be out there for the record. Isaiah Thomas at one point, right before his injury, was better then John Wall, before his injury. Thomas proved this by besting Wall in the series directly before losing to the Cavaliers in the eastern conference finals. So if Isaiah Thomas has a breakthrough and returns to someone who can score 23+ points per game… do the Wizards choose Isaiah Thomas to be the future of their point guard position? Or do they wait for John Wall? The truth is, if Isaiah Thomas is playing good again, there’s no reason for Washington to take a risk and go back to John Wall. Theoretically, the Wizards would hand the keys to Isaiah Thomas, and he would do whatever he could to lead Washington back into the playoffs. John Wall is a risk, one the Wizards have no need to take. If Wall isn’t as good as he was before, the Wizards are paying over 40 million dollars out to an injured guard. Now there’s always the possibility that Wall returns to his former glory, but the Wizards won’t know what this looks like for another year. In this situation, Washington needs to make a trade.
Step 3: The Wizards Make a Blockbuster Trade with Wall and Beal
So now the Wizards have chosen Isaiah Thomas… What happens to John Wall? While the Wizards could run a 1,2,3 of Thomas, Wall and Beal, they would likely turn to a trade. Bradley Beal has been the center of trade discussions for over a year now. His exceptional rise to a star has little use to a rebuilding Wizards team, and insanely high value on the trade market. With Beal however, comes John Wall. The heaviest destination for Beal and Wall seems to be the Miami Heat, who are interested in pairing the two with Jimmy Butler. But we’ll get back to that. For now, the Wizards theoretically would have Isaiah Thomas as their starting point guard for the future, as well as an expected plethora of draft picks and young players that the Wizards can score in a trade. For this adventure, we’ll say the Wizards trade Beal and Wall to Miami for rebuilding assets. Now, Isaiah Thomas has officially debuted the rebuild in Washington. Thomas’ success allows the Wizards to go for draft picks and begin their build up as one of the best teams in 5 or so years.
Step 4: Miami Contend for a Title
If the Heat add Beal and Wall, they’re a sure contender for the NBA title in 2021. Other free agents like DeMarcus Cousins could make their way to Miami during the 2020 offseason, attracted by the prospect of another superteam in Wall, Beal nd Butler. This along with Cousins allows the Heat to quickly become championship contenders. This team, although a fiery squad of fierce veterans, will find massive success in the eastern conference as each player does something very different at an extremely high level. Wall is a playmaker, Beal an interior scorer, Butler a shooter and Cousins a rebounder. This team will be one of the most well rounded teams since the 2012 Miami Heat. All caused by Isaiah Thomas’ breakthrough.
So What does this All Mean?
Essentially, Isaiah Thomas’ potential success allows the Wizards to begin a full rebuild. It allows Beal and Wall to be traded for a multitude of draft picks and young players that will make Washington serious contenders in the future. More importantly, it creates a new free agency hot spot. Assuming that Miami remains the only team willing to take a risk on Wall, the Heat could be establishing themselves as a very desirable super team for big men to gravitate towards. It also allows Miami to quickly turn into a championship contender, something they haven’t been able to do since LeBron left for Cleveland.
Believe it or not Isaiah Thomas is the Kawhi Leonard of next years off season. Thomas’ season will determine the landing spots of a variety of free agents including Mike Conley, Andre Drummond, Draymond Green, DeMar DeRozan and Anthony Davis. This is why Isaiah Thomas’ season is so important. If he has an incredible year, the entire landscape of the NBA could change. If Thomas doesn’t prove himself elite, well, the Wizards stick with Wall and Beal, and the league remains as is, with little changes – not caused by Thomas.