Former Celtic Isaiah Thomas to Play for Team USA in 2022 AmeriCup Qualifiers

Nick Wass/Associated Press

Longtime NBA point guard Isaiah Thomas is reportedly set to return from May hip surgery to play for Team USA in the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 qualifying tournament in February.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted the news Wednesday, noting the event will be a chance for Thomas to showcase his form as he seeks an NBA contract.

The 31-year-old University of Washington product was cleared to resume training in October and told Wojnarowski at the time he finally felt healthy after dealing with the hip injury for years:

“It’s like night and day for me. There’s no more pain. I’ve got my full range of motion. For three years, I was trying to play the best players in the world on one leg. I needed help from my kids to put my socks on in the morning.

“Now, I can lift weights. I can squat low. I can work out twice a day. I’m able to cut and move and stop, able to cut and go. I feel like I’m 31 years old again. And now, I have scientific evidence to show that.”

Thomas finished fifth in NBA MVP voting after the 2016-17 campaign with the Boston Celtics. He averaged 28.9 points, 5.9 assists, 3.2 threes and 2.7 rebounds across 76 appearances that season.

The 2011 second-round pick missed the end of the C’s playoff run because of the hip injury, however, and he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers during the offseason.

He’s since made stops with the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards, but he’s struggled to stay healthy, and his production dipped considerably since that standout year in Boston.

Thomas will attempt to illustrate a return to full strength during his stint with Team USA, which is scheduled to play Feb. 19 against the Bahamas and Feb. 20 against Mexico.

If healthy, he could be a high-upside pickup for a contender that’s seeking some offensive upside off the bench for the remainder of the season.

The U.S. has already qualified for the 2022 FIBA AmeriCup heading into those final games of qualification.

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