Isaiah Thomas’ 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans has expired and the team does not have immediate plans to sign him to a second deal, a source told ESPN on Tuesday morning.
Thomas, however, could be in the Pelicans’ plans at a later date.
New Orleans has two weeks before it needs to add another player to the roster — on either a 10-day contract or for the rest of the season. Because of luxury tax reasons, the team could opt to wait the full two weeks before adding any player. Recent injuries to guards Josh Hart (torn UCL in right thumb) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (high left ankle sprain) could force the Pelicans to end up going in a different direction once they do make that signing.
On Monday, New Orleans added James Nunnally, a 6-foot-7 wing, on a two-way contract to help fill that void.
Thomas played in three games with New Orleans, averaging 7.7 points. He received a rousing ovation from fans when he checked into Monday’s win over the Sacramento Kings — his only home game with New Orleans that he played.
“I haven’t run into a veteran guy more grateful for an opportunity to play in the league in my entire time in the league. He’s been unbelievable here,” Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy said after Monday’s game. “To see him go in, even for a few minutes, make a shot, get the appreciation of the fans, I hope he heard it. A lot of times you don’t when you’re out there playing. I hope he heard it. I hope he enjoyed it. Because he certainly deserved it.
“I feel privileged that I’ve gotten the opportunity to coach him even for a very short amount of time.”
Following the game, Thomas took the court for about 25-30 minutes to get up extra shots before retreating to the locker room.
Isaiah Thomas – on the final day of his 10-day deal – getting shots up post game. pic.twitter.com/kbDiO1VH1M
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) April 13, 2021
Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram called Thomas “the ultimate professional.”
“He just came in and did his job whenever he got in the basketball game but also on the bench,” Ingram said. “He was giving advice, talking to our younger guys, cheering us on no matter whether he gets in the game or not. That’s a big part of our team, also.”