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2019 NBA Free Agency: Wizards sign Isaiah Thomas to one-year contract at veteran’s minimum

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After dealing Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls, the Wizards acquire the two-time All-Star.

Denver Nuggets v Washington Wizards
Isaiah Thomas is coming to the Wizards on a one-year deal.
Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

The Wizards have reportedly signed point guard Isaiah Thomas on a veteran minimum for one year:

Thomas averaged 24 points a game over two breakout seasons with the Boston Celtics, earning the “King of the 4th” moniker, before injuries derailed his 2017-2018 season.

In the previous season with Denver Nuggets Thomas had an ideal situation to earn back minutes given his close relationship with coach Michael Malone going back to their days in Sacramento but that never really happened and Thomas was rather quickly cut from the rotation after his comeback from hip injury. In Washington, Thomas gets a fresh start.

Today’s overall point guard moves by Tommy Sheppard raise some questions.

First, from a pure financial point of view Ish Smith will make $6 million for two years, while Thomas will make about $2.3 million. Satoransky will reportedly make only a tad above the combined $8.3 million of these signings. He is reported to have been signed for $10 million for three years, but with the third year not fully guaranteed, per K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.

Second, from a positional point of view, these moves replace a tall, efficient guard in his prime with two undersized point guards that are not known for their efficiency and are both in their 30’s.

Third, Satoransky was a well-known locker-room favorite and glue guy, a true team player. Sheppard has emphasized the organization’s desire to bring a culture shift by keeping such players, but has instead brought in Thomas whose chemistry issues in the past years have been well documented. Moreover, guys on one year deals are not always the best recipe for locker-room success and continuity.