The trade between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, while agreed upon last week, has not been completed due to controversy surrounding the health of point guard Isaiah Thomas. With Thomas still recovering from a hip injury that was aggravated during the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavaliers had Thomas in for a physical before deciding to request additional compensation from the Celtics in order to complete the trade.
It was determined in July that Thomas would not need surgery to address the hip issue, with rehabilitation and rest being the chosen path of recovery. That could work, but according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe there’s also a more pessimistic scenario: If recovery from various hip ailments, including a bone bruise, does not proceed smoothly, there is at least a slight chance Thomas would miss most of the 2017-18 season, sources say.
The Cavs and Celtics are working against a deadline, as all physicals need to be passed by 10:00 a.m. Thursday in order for the deal to become official. Given Cleveland’s request, whether or not that deadline is met will in all likelihood depend upon an agreement regarding additional compensation.
For his part, Thomas expressed confidence that he will be the same player he was before the injury. That’s important, not only because of the trade but also his contract status. The 2017-18 season is the final year on Thomas’ current contract, and a prolonged absence due to injury would not help matters when it comes to free agency next summer.