Skip to main content

“You're not given a real chance” — Isaiah Thomas breaks down 10-day contracts in the NBA

Former Boston Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas opens up about the reality of 10-day contracts in the NBA.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas

Former point guard Isaiah Thomas ascended into a fan favorite during his playing days with the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately for IT and his fans, Thomas has struggled to find a home since his emotional departure from the franchise in 2017. 

Thomas' unique NBA journey

Thomas underwent an unconventional start to his NBA career, being drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the last pick of the 2011 draft. Despite being the 60th selection, his ability was clear from day one, as he played his way into the rotation and was eventually named to an All-NBA rookie team in 2012.

After making a name for himself in Sacramento, the five-foot-nine guard made his way to the Phoenix Suns via a sign-and-trade in July 2014. It turned out to be an uneasy fit for Thomas, as he fought for minutes with talented ball handlers Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, and Goran Dragic. The cluster of guards eventually forced the front office to make a decision, and Thomas was traded to the Celtics in February 2015.

It was at the Celtics that the Washington native peaked in the association. In 2016, Thomas averaged 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game, earning him both All-Star and All-NBA honors. In addition, he led the franchise to a conference-best 1st seed for the first time since 2008 and an Eastern Conference Finals berth that included a 53-point performance against the Washington Wizards in the second round. That's when Thomas became The King in the Fourth.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The downfall of IT4

Unfortunately for the talented scorer, it was all downhill from there. He was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers the following season and battled a hip injury thereafter that eventually derailed his career.

Short stints at the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets followed until Thomas was suddenly left without a team in the summer of 2019.

To his credit, he never gave up on his NBA return and accepted a series of 10-day contracts with the New Orleans Pelicans, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and Charlotte Hornets in an attempt to make a roster long-term.

It wasn't to be, and Thomas recently opened up about the challenges of the 10-day contracts in the league.

"Basically in a 10-day, you got three games, you got a few games if you get the opportunity. So in a 10-day you usually they're signing you for an extra spot. You are probably not going to play. So those are tough situation to be in, and obviously anybody who gets a 10-day is going to take it. But it doesn't always end well for the individual because you're not given a real chance," Thomas said.

The streets will never forget

IT's transparency is a refreshing and valuable insight for ball players currently undergoing the uncertainty of 10-day contracts.

It's sad to see Thomas not on an NBA roster when it seemed like he was filling up our social media feeds with incredible scoring highlights just yesterday.

His abrupt departure from the league is a perfect example of the sometimes-unforgiving nature of professional sports that continue to move forward no matter what the cost. It's unlikely we will ever see Thomas on an NBA roster again, but fortunately, he left a lasting impression that will live long in the memory. 

February 23, 2009; Golden State Warriors forward Stephen Jackson during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center

Stephen Jackson shares his two most memorable moments playing for the “We Believe” Warriors

The Warriors experienced some brief success in the 2000s, thanks partly to Jackson's strong play.

January 1, 2019; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid talks to Markelle Fultz on the bench before a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center

“I felt like we had given up on him too early” - Joel Embiid explains why he was disappointed when the 76ers traded Markelle Fultz

The Sixers had to do the trade to get rid of the drama surrounding the 2017 No. 1 pick and focus on a title run.

Boston Celtics guard Dennis Johnson in action at the Boston Garden

“His act of kindness enabled me to keep that job” - A motivational speaker shares a heartwarming Dennis Johnson story

After working odd jobs as a teenager, carrying two heavy jugs was probably no big deal for Johnson.

NFL legend Shannon Sharpe, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, former NBA player Stephen Jackson

“LeBron ain’t gonna run up and fight nobody for you. Keep that in mind” - Stephen Jackson warns Shannon Sharpe about his relationship with LeBron James

James said that he’s got Sharpe’s back just as much as the analyst has his but Jackson doesn't believe this is the case.


"Mess with Stockton and you mess with me" - Karl Malone on what John Stockton meant to him

The connection between Karl Malone and John Stockton goes beyond basketball


"Let's see what this guy did in his career" — Why Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn't initially impressed with Jason Kidd

The NBA was heading toward the positionless ball during Jason Kidd's time in Milwaukee. The point guard knew that Giannis Antetokounmpo was the ace up in his sleeves.

January 31, 2023; Jamal Murray interviewed by TNT broadcaster Chris Haynes after the Denver Nuggets beat the New Orleans Pelicans at Ball Arena

"Winning a championship!" - Jamal Murray talks about Denver Nuggets' ultimate goal while praising Nikola Jokic

Jamal Murray has had long process of recovery after his ACL injury, but he is back on track, and ready to help the team win a championship.

Detroit Pistons guard Joe Dumars (4)/Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley (34)

“Give me that sh*t, Joe!” - When Charles Barkley stopped Joe Dumars from dunking in traffic again

While hardly a defensive menace, Chuck did enough to dissuade Dumars from trying to posterize opponents again.