Thomas is coming off of a career year, one in which he was part of the MVP debate for much of the season. In his second year with the Celtics, Thomas averaged new career-highs of 28.9 points and 3.2 made threes per game. His accuracy also increased, shooting a career best 4... read more
Thomas is coming off of a career year, one in which he was part of the MVP debate for much of the season. In his second year with the Celtics, Thomas averaged new career-highs of 28.9 points and 3.2 made threes per game. His accuracy also increased, shooting a career best 46 percent from the field and an incredible 91 percent from the charity stripe. Throw in 5.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game, and Thomas finished as the 11th best Fantasy player in nine category leagues. Will that change now that he's joined LeBron James and Kevin Love in Cleveland following a late August trade for Kyrie Irving? Maybe a little bit. Playing next to James is going to be an adjustment period, as he demands the ball much more than Thomas' previous teammates in Boston. That's surely going to mean a drop in usage for Thomas, which in turn likely means his scoring and assist numbers are going to take a hit. However, James did average 8.7 assists a season ago and is a willing passer, which should give Thomas some open looks on the dribble drive. The presence of James could actually reduce the wear and tear on the mighty point guard. Thomas wore down near the end of last season, as the burden of being Boston’s primary scoring option visibly took its toll on the 28 year-old veteran. A recurring hip injury forced Thomas to miss Boston’s last three playoff games. This offseason, Thomas decided rest and rehabilitation was a better cure for his balky hip than surgery. Expect Thomas to see minimal minutes during the pre-season. That, unfortunately, will probably hinder initial chemistry development with James and Love. Expect the revised Cleveland starting lineup to take some time to gel. As for Thomas, it's unrealistic to expect another career high in scoring, especially playing alongside a ball-dominant James. But also remember this is a contract year for the All-Star and he'll be fighting to help Cleveland return to the Eastern Conference Finals for a potential rematch with his former squad, so Thomas should have all the incentive necessary to have another big year.