Former All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas is returning to the NBA as he signed a 10-day contract with the Charlotte Hornets, team GM Mitch Kupchak announced Wednesday. This marks Thomas’ third stint in the league this season, after previously spending time with the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.
Thomas played in just five total games with those two teams, averaging 8.6 points and two assists on a disappointing 20 percent shooting from 3-point land. But while his limited appearances in the NBA haven’t been particularly impressive, the same cannot be said about his performances in the G League.
In his first G League game back in December, Thomas poured in 42 points. And when he rejoined the Grand Rapids Gold in late February, he picked up right where he left off. He poured in 45 points against the Windy City Bulls, then followed that up by dropping 46 points — the highest-scoring game by any player in the G League this season — on the Greensboro Swarm. On Tuesday, Thomas was named G League player of the week for averaging 41.3 points and 6.3 assists, while shooting 52.1 percent from the field.
Thomas is clearly too talented for the G League, but whether he can still produce at a high level in the NBA remains to be seen. He’ll get another chance to prove himself in Charlotte. The Hornets have lost 11 of their last 13 games to fall to 10th place in the Eastern Conference, and are 28th in offense during that stretch, scoring just 105.8 points per 100 possessions.
Thomas’ ability to score and create for others should be useful as the Hornets try to turn things around. With upcoming games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics — two of the top-four defensive teams in the league — the Hornets are going to need some serious help scoring the ball.